Sunday, January 17, 2016

How Sharp is your ax?

Looking back through my blog today, I came across this post I wrote several years ago. This is something I've thought about many times since then so I thought it's worth sharing again.

Here you go:

There's a story that I'm sure many of you have heard about two loggers going out to the woods to cut down a tree. One takes the time to sharpen his ax, while the other just starts chopping away. The man who sharpened his ax can chop down the tree faster and with less effort than the man with the dull ax.

I was just standing doing the dishes a few minutes ago thinking about how this story can apply to so many different things in life. Here I was scrubbing away and I noticed that I have two sponges, one that I've had awhile and a newer one. The older one has softened over time and doesn't scrub nearly as well as the newer one. I believe that my time/effort is worth the money to buy a new sponge when needed just as the man's time was well spent to sharpen his ax.

It just made me wonder what other parts of my life this can be applied to. Are there other areas where my ax is dull? 

*Reposted from 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

10 Things I Don't Do Every Day -- To Keep Myself and My Family Happy

Recently I came across this post (shared by Money Saving Mom). It is a fabulous list of 10 things the author does each day to help keep herself happy. Thinking along those lines, I realized that happiness isn't just in the things we do each day, but also in the things we don't do each day. So I've come up with my own list. 

In no particular order, here are 10 things I don't do each day to keep myself and my family happy.

1. I don't forget the coffee. 

     We start our day around here with coffee. It's serious business. If we're out of it, I'm sure we'd survive, but the day would just be off on the wrong foot. This doesn't have to apply to just coffee either, I'm sure in your morning there is something important. Something that if it goes missing or you forget, it just sends your day down a spiraling trajectory. I don't forget the coffee. 

2.  I don't over commit.
    There are a billion ways we could commit our time. Activities for the kids, personal hobbies, church activities, meeting friends for play dates....the list is endless. There has to be a line somewhere where you just say no. Nope, nada. Can't do it. Keep your commitments to a reasonable amount. Jen Hatmaker said this, oh so eloquently, in this post.

3. I don't compare.

     This is a big whopper. We can get caught up in comparison in so many ways and I think this especially applies to us women. I could write a whole post just on this topic. (and I may) It just makes me want to wave my hands and shout, 'stop it!' Thoughts running through my head about whether I live up to so and so, am I as stylish as her? Is my house as nicely decorated.... blech! Instead, I ask myself: is this pleasing to God? Will my husband like this? Is this something that is important to us as a family? Do I like the way I look? These kinds of questions take our thoughts down a completely different, and UPLIFTING, path! We've all heard it said, Comparison is the thief of joy.

4. I don't speak badly about my husband. (or kids)
   This is another one that is incredibly important! Nothing says I disrespect you more to my husband than bad mouthing him in public. Same goes for our kids. Does this mean they're perfect? Heck no! But it does mean I keep those thoughts to conversations at home or with a close friend. 

5.  I don't cry over spilled milk. (similar to her 'don't stress the small things)

    Spilled milk, broken toys...someone ate the last of my beloved dried mangoes, it's all the same. Not worth crying over. It won't matter next year, not even next week. Definitely not worth crying over or stressing about!
6. I don't make a to do list. 

    A lot of people may disagree with me on this one, but this is what works for me. Rather than making a to do list I make a list of what I completed. It helps me track progress while eliminating stress. There's no overwhelming pressure to complete a list of tasks. I do the same thing for school work for our kids. (we homeschool) I don't detail out a weekly schedule and daily checklist, rather at the beginning of the year I buy a blank school planner and record what we accomplish each day. I can visually see what's been done and all the progress that we've made. Works for me. You should try it!

7.  I don't jump on bandwagons.

    Bandwagons or 'fads' are just not for me. I can glean an idea or two from a particular bandwagon. But it's rare, very rare, for me to jump all in. Most things only last a year or so before they fade from our memories anyway. Am I right?

8. I don't read the news.

   There is no faster way for me to lose the joy and happiness in my day, than to read the news. Every time I try I end up depressed thinking our country is deteriorating at a rapid rate. How can I raise kids in this society?? So, I avoid it. I figure if there is something that is of real importance, that will have real affect on my life I'll eventually hear about it. 

9.  I don't eat mushrooms. 

   This one's a little tongue in cheek, but sort of serious. I don't eat mushrooms. Or olives, or pickles... it makes me happy. I also don't force my kids (generally) to eat things they don't like. I prepare foods that are pretty easy on the palette and every once in awhile introduce something new. If they try it a couple times and don't prefer it, eh, no big deal. 

10. I don't 'do it all'.

   If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I 'do it all' I'd be a millionaire! The answer is that I don't. Delegate, delegate, delegate. That's what my husband tells me daily. If I tried to accomplish all the tasks necessary to run this household all by myself I'd go crazy. And be an exhausted crabby mess. I delegate what I can to others (kids) and prioritize! 

Now, you probably read this and thought, yeah never do that? Well, read this list and know that this is my guideline. This is what I strive for, my standard. Do I always do everything on this list perfectly? No. Because I'm not perfect.  I aim to do these things because they help keep me and my family happy. 

How about you? What are some things that you don't do that keep you happy?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tabula rasa

Blogging has been part of my life for quite some time, probably close to ten years! My very first blog was over at, but they were changing up their site so I moved over to Duckygirl's on blogger in 2008. Both of those were great places to write and through them I met a fantastic community of women. Ladies I treasure as good friends to this day. 

So, why change it up and start a new blog? 

Well, life has seasons and I feel like that one is ending and I'm moving into a new one. There isn't anything in particular that I dislike about the Duckygirl blog, it just doesn't feel like 'home' anymore. I created this place and it was like looking out at freshly fallen snow. Peaceful and beautiful. 

For now, this is home. It's ordinary, yet extraordinary.