Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Edith Schaeffer

Last night I was talking with a friend over a bowl of delicious ice cream while she did her family filing. Somehow we got onto the topic of home making and then onto Edith Schaeffer. This is the second time this friend has referred to Edith but this time she got out her book, 'The Hidden Art of Homemaking'. While flipping casually through the pages I felt like I had stumbled onto a gold mine! Just reading small portions of her book encouraged me to be the best wife and homemaker I can be for The Lord. What a lovely, wise woman. So today I thought I'd share some Edith Schaeffer quotes. Here they are:

“A Christian, who realizes he has been made in the image of the Creator God and is therefore meant to be creative on a finite level, should certainly have more understanding of his responsibility to treat God's creation with sensitivity, and should develop his talents to do something to beautify his little spot on the earth's surface.”
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking
“I am sure that there is no place in the world where your message would not be enhanced by your making the place (whether tiny or large, a hut or a palace) orderly, artistic and beautiful with some form of creativity, some form of ‘art’ (p. 213).”
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

“Interior decoration is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not! We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.”
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

“It seems to me that whether it is recognized or not, there is a terrific frustration which increases in intensity and harmfulness as time goes on, when people are always daydreaming of the kind of place in which they would like to live, yet never making the place where they do live into anything artistically satisfying to them. Always to dream of a cottage by a brook while never doing anything 
to the stuffy house in the city is to waste creativity in this very basic area, and to hinder future creativity by not allowing it to grow and develop through use." pg 66”
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

“Is a Christian- one who communicates daily with the Creator- to divorce himself from the things God created and intended man to have, and which demonstrate the fact that man has been made in the image of God? In other words, are we who have been made in the image of our creator to be less creative than those who do not know the Creator? The Christian should have more vividly expressed creativity in his daily life.”
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spring cleaning in the winter

Have you seen the movie: 'The Secret life of Walter Mitty'? I haven't, but I've been told by my Dad and sister that I am a female version of Walter Mitty.
Like Walter, I have an over-active imagination but in real life I play it fairly safe and am a bit shy. If you could just see my day dreams or my dreams you'd be inspired to write a screen play. I'm sure of it! In my mind I'm basically a dragon slayer.
Honestly, I can escape from many a situation into my world of fantasy or musings. It doesn't take much to make mind go off on a tangent. There has been many, many times that I refocus on the present to realize someone has been trying to get my attention for a long time.
What if that someone is God?
In yesterday's sermon, Pastor Julian was preaching on Luke 8: 1-21 and he brought up a good point while reflecting on the parable of the sower. Often people, like me, who have grown up in the church their entire lives can start becoming unresponsive to the gospel. They are like the seed that falls upon the good soil but gets choked by the thorns or the : 'cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature' (Luke 8:14 ESV). Julian challenged us to look at our priorities and declutter our lives to give ample time for reading the word, fellowshipping and being at church. 
What if you're at church but ... you're not at church?

I realized today, as I day dreamed out the window while I was supposed to be studying, that by day dreaming during the service I am exactly like that seed that won't mature. The decluttering needs to start before the church service though. My world view and musings are constantly being influenced by the secular music I listen to, Pinterest, Netflix ..etc... All those things, cumulated together, take up hours of my life. Seemingly harmless, but I know myself, and I know that the 'cares and riches and pleasures of life' are what I'm focussing on more than Christ. 

I also need to declutter my attitude. 

I have not even cone close to being completely sanctified. Yet, I subconsciously think that because I grew up with sound teaching I can now coast. Such a dangerous and presumptuous mindset! I encourage you pastor's kids and all of you who grew up in Christian homes to not adopt this prideful attitude. 
By not being present in corporate worship and during the teaching of the Word spiritual growth can definitely be stunted, you miss out on so many blessings and doubts and misgivings start to grow. Satan knows a vulnerable person when he sees one. I write from personal experience!

So decluttering isn't just good for a home decor show. Sometimes to see Christ clearly you need to purge your life of everything your looking at instead of Him. As for my day dreaming...well  I know taking notes definitely helps me focus!

Luke 8:15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

An ice storm and a trip to the beach

oh hello again.
I've sat down quite a few times to type something since I last posted and felt speechless. Like I don't know how to gather my thoughts.
A lot has happened though that's made me thoughtful and thankful.

Let's start with Christmas.
It was our first Christmas together and Steve and I made plans for making it one to remember! Well, all those plans got flushed down the drain when a massive ice-storm hit 3 days before December 25th knocking out our power...and all of our area of the city's power. My iPad also got stolen. I slept over at my friend's apartment one night and while we were out Christmas shopping the next morning someone broke in and ransacked the place. They stole some very sentimental and special things from my friend and my iPad. Not cool.
The day after this happened my sister flew from Honduras to spend the holidays with us. She said the power outtage reminded her of Honduras so at least she felt right at home.

(My friend Peter's house covered by a fallen tree)

It's amazing how fragile our society is! Take away electricity for a couple days and it's all pandemonium and chaos! The local mall seemed like the local charging station. Every outlet in the mall was being used to charge people's phones, laptops..etc.  But I digress..

Friends of ours from church let us stay with them because they still had electricity. That ended up being lovely. Church family to the rescue! In an attempt to not let our Christmas decorations go to waste we loaded them up in our car and took them with us! It was a lot of work and driving but we did celebrate Christmas....and all the extra work that went into it definitely was a bonding experience.

Fast forward a couple weeks later and Steve and I were in Florida, enjoying a lovely visit with my
parents. The rest and relaxation there was amazing. I got to run by the ocean every day, Steve fished
and we both got a break from our schedules back in Toronto.
I love being able to step back once and awhile to re-evaluate life, and that's exactly what I did in Florida. Before the trip I felt like I was drowning in tasks and responsibilities and guilt. I was overwhelmed. Going to Florida felt like hitting the reset button. Sitting by the ocean, I only added one thing to my agenda: to enjoy God and worship Him.

I miss the beach right now, and the simple, peaceful life down south. There, I was reminded of God's presence though - and that He is with me...everywhere I go. So I got home to start 2014 with a renewed sense of peace and purpose. I could easily get overwhelmed again but relying on God's strength both eases the load and gives courage.
No ice storm or first-world problem is capable of taking us away from our Saviour.

Psalm 100 : 5 (ESV)
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.