comparison, agitation, & peace

I spent the entire morning in a state of agitation.

I wasn’t fully aware of it until I noticed how little patience I was evidencing during my daughter’s handwriting practice. time to step awaaay, Christa.

From school, we plunged into some errands, which involved patrolling different sporting goods store in search of an elusive tire to fix my busted jogging stroller only to discover none of the stores had the correct tire and I would need to order it online. Please remember that I was carting my jogging stroller, 1, 3, and 5 year old along with me on this search.

By the time we arrived home from our unprofitable errands {busted jogging stroller still in tow} and I got my boys down for a rest, I was about done. Not done for the day, just done period.

I went to Anna Grace who was reading on the couch. “Mommy’s just going to go pray in my room for a little bit.”
“What are you going to pray about?”
“Oh, I’m just anxious about a lot of things and God says not to worry, but to pray about everything, so…”
“So you’re going to do that and see if it helps?”

Grr. A trick question. From my 5 year old. If I say “yes” does that mean I’m just experimenting with prayer? And if I say “no” does that mean I don’t believe God will help me? I decided to use the old avoiding the question method and tried to explain Philippians 4:6 to her before heading off to my room.

Once I was alone, I tried to think back through my morning. Why was I so agitated?
It hadn’t been anything with school…I was irritated before that.
And although my husband had heisted the ceramic pour over to his office, it certainly hadn’t been that either…seeing I had 2 other ways I could have made coffee.

And then I remembered. That morning, I had seen a few people {whom I don’t even know} share some awesome news via instagram.
A new business venture; an anonymous gift; a popular writing.

And without totally realizing it, I had been comparing. But it didn’t stop at comparison – because when does it ever stop there?
I went from comparing to evaluating:

I could never do that. Why don’t I have that? Dumb. Life is dumb. I am such a failure.

Goodness, no wonder I was agitated.

I confessed my sins of coveting + jealousy + complaining. And then I pulled out my Bible and started reading Colossians 3, a passage that’s been rocking my world for the past month. This verse jumped out at me:

let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

I had not experienced or evidenced the peace of Christ at all that day. Instead, I was annoyed and frustrated.

WHAT IF…

…instead of responding with comparison, I had responded with thankfulness?
…instead of being jealous of someone else’s gifts I had thanked God for blessing them?
…instead of coveting, I had thanked God for the hundreds of undeserved blessings He’s given me?

Maybe thankfulness + peace go hand in hand. Maybe that’s why a thankful person is a peaceful person. Because their heart is so full of the peace of God that they’re able to quietly rest in all God has done and just
simply
give
thanks.

I went back to Anna Grace and she climbed into my lap. “I prayed a while. I was worried about a lot of things.”
“Like what?”
“Well…you know how Mommy writes a blog? Well, someone else wrote something that a million bajillion people read and…it just…ya know…sounds like something cool.”
“oh.”
“So basically instead of being thankful for all the amazing gifts God has given me, I decided to think about everything I wanted instead. Not good, huh?”
“no.”

Peace + thankfulness.
Let’s abide in Christ and watch Him produce these fruits in our lives.

Friday Faves :: Apple Recipes

Friday Faves

Because the last few days have had just a slight taste of “fall is coming” in the air…

apple recipes

Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes // Apple Scones // Apple Butter
Silly Apple Bites // Apple Cider // Apple Chips // Apple Bars
5 Ways to Use Frozen Apples

Delicious looking, right? My kids would love those silly apple bites and I think the apple scones sound like perfection. Do you have any apple recipes that are your absolute fave?

Speaking of faves…this is the last day to participate in the Friday Faves linkup with Susanna and I! A huge big thank you to each one of you who has linked up + linked back so kindly with us! I have absolutely loved checking out some of your faves over the past months.

 

Storage Bin Options {for Kallax/Expedit} :: what I chose

Many moons ago, I told you the story of needing more storage for my kids’ room and finding this lovely via a facebook yard sale group:kallax-shelving-unit-white

Remember how I was looking for storage bins and rounded up a lovely list of options I was considering?

Here, let me jog your memory with this graphic:

13 storage options under 15

Here’s where I fulfill my promise {6 months later} to tell you what I chose for storage bins.

Previously, I was set on these lovely insertable drawers from Ikea. I thought it would be way easier to use them for the boys’ clothes + I think they’re really classy. However, I was planning to buy at least 4. And at $15 an insert, I just had a really hard time swallowing the $60 price tag – especially when that was coming close to the amount we spent for the entire storage unit.

So I considered my other options. And decided to choose something completely different. Namely, these guys from Walmart. At $11.34 for TWO. TWO!!!

bin

I was extremely tantalized by the array of colors and patterns available, but after about an hour of debating back and forth, back and forth…I finally settled on the Slate Blue option. Part of this hour was spent online and part of it was spent in the store. With my kids waiting in the cart while I decided. They deserve an award for surviving the “most indecisive mom” category.

I now am the proud owner of 5 of these canvas bins. I’ve used 3 for several months now – both for clothes and toys – and they’ve held up really well, so I just bought 2 more a couple weeks ago. I keep Nate’s shirts and shorts in one (they’re 13×13 square, so they’re huge) and he loves to pick out his own outfits. Which usually results in a rotation of his 3 favorite shirts until Mommy steps in and tries to point out the merits of the other shirts in his drawer and explain that maybe a red Superman shirt doesn’t look so awesome with burnt orange shorts.

Meh. Small beans, small beans.
The point is? I got some bins. They’re a perfect fit. The price was right. And they’ve been holding up really well for the past 3 months. Here’s to another 5 years.

I’m working on a bit of a kid’s room re-do. Nothing insanely major. Jonathan and I re-painted the room several months ago and between that and the installation of the new storage unit, the walls have been completely bare – except for our lovely Map Mural. So I’m putting together an inspiration board with my goals for the room. I’ll share soon!

 

Friday Faves :: 5 sweets worth the drool

Friday Faves

Guys, I’m sorry.
But I wrote this post while I was hungry and craving something incredibly sweet. So you can already guess today’s topic, can’t you?
Sweets. Delicious, delectable homemade sweets.

Which is funny, because I’m currently chewing this {+ milk} while I type. I decided it would be better for me in the long run. Ah responsibility. What a necessary evil you are at times.

So sure. I’m not recommending we make all of these things todayyyy…I’m just saying it would be nice to eat them at some point. And you know, today would be great.

five sweets

  1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust – GET OUT. You have officially combined 3 of my favorites right there. This guy sounds delish.
  2. Frozen Hot Chocolate from Smitten Kitchen, no less. This sounds like a lot of work…more than I’m accustomed to spending for a drinkable dessert. But it surely sounds amazing.
  3. I’ve never met a blondie I didn’t like. And while I usually prefer chocolate, these Cinnamon Roll Blondies seem pretty insane. Especially since they’re absolutely piled with cream cheese frosting.
  4. I wonder if I could make this peach tea punch with frozen peaches? Perhaps I could just cut down on the water a bit and it would be good. Hmmm… it sounds like a tasty way to finish off these hot summer days. But then, what am I talking about – finishing off? Here in North Carolina, we’re probably going to be blessed with summer temps for at least 2 more months. Bring on the iced tea, y’all.
  5. After I got over my jealousy from Bridget’s find of clearanced dark chocolate chunks {just kidding…I’m still not over it. I had been pleased over my find of clearanced toilet paper at Target until I saw this…}, I decided this salted caramel chocolate chunk cookie was just too melty and tempting not to share. Perhaps if I make these, all my jealous thoughts will slowly disappear.

And what are you drooling over these days?
I recently heard rave reviews of this local gelato shop and am considering stalking it to see if it’s worth all the hype.

Happy weekend, my friends!!

Are you a blogger? Link up your favorite links below with me & Susanna! Just link back to me and you’re golden!

10 Books I Want to Read

oh, book lists. they kill me.

the problem with book lists is that you have to narrow things down to an actual manageable list. I have problems with decision making, especially when it comes to rather minuscule things like milkshake flavor, hot or iced coffee, and which books to put on my book list.

Nevertheless, I have decided to narrow the list down to 10 books I want to read. This next fact should be rather obvious, but I feel I must include it because of the nature of the online world:

I have never read any of these books. Thus, this post cannot be considered a full endorsement.

Please use your general good judgment when reading anything you read. Always filter things through Scripture and you’ll be all set.

That being said, here are 10 {technically 12} books I want to read:
TEN BOOKS

  1. On Writing Well || William Zinsser || A classic book for writers, I think I should have read this a long time ago.
  2. All The Light We Cannot See || Anthony Doerr || I’ve seen this recommended by several people – most recently, Andrea.
  3. Real Love for Real Life || Andi Ashworth || I recently read this interview with the author, so it made my short list.
  4. For the Love ||Jen Hatmaker || I’ve read 7, so naturally this is on my list as well.
  5. Word-Filled Women’s Ministry || Gloria Furman & Kathleen B. Nielson || a compiled book that seems like gold for any church women’s ministry.
  6. The Kingdom Trilogy || David Mains || I’ve heard these recommended multiple times by homeschooling mamas.
  7. The Hidden Art of Homemaking |Edith Schaeffer || this has been on my to-read list ever since girltalk did an online book club with it.
  8. Cold Tangerines || Shauna Niequist || because Bread & Wine made me laugh, cry & salivate.
  9. Life Together || Dietrich Bonhoeffer || because Susanna just recommended it.
  10. The Valley of Vision || Arthur Bennett || every quote I’ve read from these books has been gold.

& this is the one I want to color. just for fun.

I have a few of these on request at my library. I’m debating about ordering 3, 5, or 10 because I’ve been sitting on a $15 amazon gift card {from swagbucks – woot!} for such a time as this. But the thrill of just having an amazon gift card at my disposal is just so lovely that I don’t know if it’s worth spending.

Remember at the beginning of this post when I was talking about being indecisive?
My, how we’ve come full circle.

So books. There are 10 I want to read.
What’s on your “To Read” list?

Related:

How to Read {when you don’t have time}
30+ of the very BEST books for preschoolers
9 books to build your marriage