The End.

>> Monday, February 20, 2017

It seems I'm at that point once again.

That point where I am trying to decide if it makes sense to keep this blog going.  Last year, I averaged less than one post per month that wasn't prompted (ie. monthly Daybook, Thankful Thursday, 5-Minute Friday, etc.), a short book review, or just pictures.  Less than one post per month of actual writing, sharing, thinking out loud.

It just takes too much time, too much brain-power. (and/or will-power...)  I've wondered it before, but I really feel like this blogging chapter in my life is over.  There are still some blogs I visit regularly ~ like, whenever there's a new post ~ but honestly, my sidebar blog feed (which I've already removed) is pretty much the only thing I use this blog for anymore.  Most of those writers have Facebook pages I can follow in order to keep up, and of the remaining blogs, all but ONE were people I already connected with regularly via Facebook, text messages, phone calls, or in person.

One of the things I've learned in all my readings of minimalism is that keeping things like blogs (or unused craft supplies that you bought, but never ended up using) can actually breed feelings of guilt and failure every time you see them.  And that just because you spent money and/or time on them in the past is not a good enough reason to hang on, if you just don't use them anymore.

I spent a fair bit of money on stamping and card-making supplies several years ago ~ special pens and pretty papers, ink pads in every colour, countless stamps.  And while I got them all at a significantly reduced price during a Stampin' Up! dealer's going-out-of-business sale, I still spent a lot of money.  Because I always thought it was something I could see myself getting into.  And I did make a few cards and do a couple of paper projects (most notably, this one... FIVE years ago) but mostly, the supplies just took up floor space and collected dust in my tiny, already-cluttered office. I didn't even have the shelf space to store them.  I cringed inwardly almost every time I saw them.

So last week, I gave away the whole kit 'n' kaboodle to my best friend, who is very much into that kind of thing and has regular card-making bees with her daughter, sisters, and sisters-in-law.  And you know what's weird?  I no longer see all the money I spent, sitting there in the corner, partially blocking the closet door, and accusing me of being delusional.  Now all I see is a little more floor space and a closet door that I can freely open and close without always having to move those three boxes.  And that makes me happy.

I feel like this blog is, in a way, similar to that pile of craft supplies.  I see it here on my computer all the time and I feel like it's something I should be concerning myself with.  But at the same time, I rarely sit here long enough to write anything, and when I do, I don't seem to have anything to say.  For the last couple of years already, the only reason I've kept the blog up and running is because I might have something to say.  Just like I might one day feel like making a card.

It COULD happen.  But the likelihood...?  Not very high.

And so I've reached the decision to close this blog at the end of the month.  I'm not going to delete it, but I'm going to privatize it and remove it from my Google homepage.  I don't want to erase almost 10 years of memories, but I don't want to always see it and feel like I should be doing something with it.  I don't always want to be wondering what I could write about today or how long it's been since I last posted, or how I need some new and different photographic material to share.

I want to enjoy periodically strolling down memory lane without feeling obligated to create more memories simply for the sake of preserving them here.

It's time to let go.

And so with that, I say goodbye, blogosphere.  It's been fun.  It's been a great creative and often-therapeutic outlet.  And it's been so interesting to meet and get to know people all over the world.  I still hope and dream of meeting a few of you in person someday.

But it's time to move on.  All the best, my old friends!

Blow Kiss

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Respected Citizen or Despised Alien?

>> Sunday, February 12, 2017

Followed the Desiring God link in my Instagram feed last Saturday and stumbled across this from John Piper.  It hit me HARD.  I've been mulling on it ever since.

"By and large, in America for 300 years, the call to be a Christian has not been the call to be an alien.  By and large, it hasn't been the call to be a sojourner, or an exile, or to be out of step.  It's a call to be a respected citizen in the community. 
We have come to take all the relatively minor spin-offs of devotion to Jesus and elevated them above the massive, real pleasures of knowing him, loving him, and dying and being with him forever. Everything’s out of proportion in typical American Christianity.

This text (Hebrews 10:32-36) fills me... with a longing NOT to be a domesticated, comfort-seeking, entertainment-addicted, prosperity-loving, security-craving, approval-desiring Christian.  I don't want to be that!  It's abominable to me to be that.  I don't want to waste my life just fitting in.  I want to be set free from this distortion.  I want to be biblical; I want to have real, spiritual, other-worldly power on my life.  I want to have stunningly counter-cultural, other-worldly HOPE driving this engine."

(from this article)

And of course, despite the title, this is every bit as relevant for the Canadian Church or European Church ~ anywhere that Christianity has enjoyed safety and comfort and prosperity for numerous generations.

You can view the entire sermon or read the transcript here.







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February Daybook

>> Monday, February 6, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook, hosted by Peggy @ The Simple Woman's Blog

Wow, FEBRUARY.  I know, right?!  The school year up here is officially at the half-way point ~ my high school daughter's second semester starts today.



Outside my window... the days are NOTICEABLY LONGER, woo-hoo!!  And with good reason: we've already added an hour and 45 minutes of daylight since the winter solstice!  (per the National Research Council's sunrise/sunset calculator)  Instead of driving to work in semi-darkness and coming home in the dark, the sun now rises before I leave the house in the morning and is still up when I return at the end of the day.

I am thankful... I have learned to love being outside, even in winter.  Provided I have on the appropriate clothing, of course.  And I'm really thankful for winter days that feel more like spring, of which we had quite a few last month!

I am wondering... how many more Fridays off I will get before tax season.  While my contract hours translate to 7.5 hours Monday-Thursday, I'd agreed to work a full fifth day each week during tax time.  Tax season here in Canada is essentially March and April (deadline is May 1 this year because April 30 falls on the wknd), but the increased flow of work into the office has already begun.  I think I will still get this Friday off, but that may be the last one until almost mid-May!  (except for Good Friday, of course)

I am hoping... to somehow, someday, convince my daughters that the only way to really understand something like a sport or a musical instrument, and do it well, is to figure it out for themselves and then PRACTICE.  (You know, rather than relying on their friends to show up and show them what to do and when, and then feeling frustrated and hopeless when they don't)  Argh, it's so much less complicated than teenage girls seem to think it is!  ::insert eyeroll here::  

I am going... to start a new habit this week: being IN bed BY 10:30 on work nights.  Didn't quite make it last night because I was finishing up this post!


I am wearing... pajamas, at the moment.  Since I began this post on Saturday morning.  And also, it's auto-posting before I get dressed for work today.  :)

A quote that recently caught my attention... I really wanted to share something our pastor said yesterday, but he didn't get my request in time, so that will have to wait for some other post.  But something I stumbled on Saturday morning was stirring, too.
By and large, in America for 300 years, the call to be a Christian has not been the call to be an alien.  By and large, it hasn't been the call to be a sojourner, or an exile, or to be out of step.  It's a call to be a respected citizen in the community...

This text (Hebrews 10:32-36) fills me... with a longing NOT to be a domesticated, comfort-seeking, entertainment-addicted, prosperity-loving, security-craving, approval-desiring Christian.  I don't want to be that!  It's abominable to me to be that!  I don't want to waste my life just fitting in.  I want to be set free from this distortion... I want to be biblical; I want to have real, spiritual, other-worldly power on my life.  I want to have stunningly counter-cultural, other-worldly HOPE driving this engine.
(John Piper, from this article and 7-minute video clip.  You can view the entire sermon it's from or read the transcript here; emphasis added)

I am reading... almost too many things these days.  The Man gave me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and his sister clued me in to BookBub, so I've gone a little crazy with the under-$3-book buying!  I'm reading The Cairo Vendetta by Ernest Dempsey, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, and I'm STILL working my way through my physical copy of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha.  (I really need to get more serious about finishing that one.  It's not like it's hard reading or anything, but it's probably been on the list here for almost a year already!)

A peek into one of my days...
This is where I spend four days every week.

In my garden... frozen wasteland.


In my kitchen... only half the menu planned for the week so far.  Garden Chicken & Stuffing casserole today, Poor Man's Filet Mignon and baked potatoes tomorrow, farmer sausage and perogies on Wednesday, and taco salad on Thursday.  The Man has exactly those four days off this week, and since he's very handy in the kitchen, this will be a treat for me!!  The rest of the week's menu will get done tonight.  I hope.

How are things shaping up in your neck of the woods?

Bundled  
* Click the Simple Woman's Daybook graphic at the top of the post to visit our host and other daybookers.

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