Simple Things Volume 6

This week was full of lots of smiles, experiments, and new experiences. Here are some of the simple things that brightened my week.

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This is my grass. My real front lawn. It isn’t the prettiest, it is full of weeds, and half dead because I forgot to water it, but it is mine. For the first time in 5 years I felt healthy enough to mow this week. For the first time since we moved here it didn’t make me sick the next day. It was a big accomplishment. I am so thankful my neighbors mow it when The Husband is busy. Now I can return the favor.

 

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This is my parent’s cat Emily. Miss Crafty was getting her some water and left the door open. Emily was all too thrilled to quickly run inside and hide herself under a chair. I could hear her purrs up a flight of stairs. It took us a few minutes to get her back outside.

Miss Crafty and The Inventor went on a trip with my parents and sister last weekend. It makes me smile thinking of the memories made and the time they got to spend with their grandparents.

 

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Those are some things that made my week a little brighter. What are some of yours?

 

~Crystal

Why I Like to Share Stories

Nemo / Pixabay

If you’ve been reading Living in Green Grass for any length of time, you know that I like to post Monday-Friday. I have a daily theme that I stick to. On Thursday I usually share other people’s stories about how they find contentment and happiness in life.

Today I don’t have a story to share.

It is not that I have run out of people to interview or stories to share, it is because I took last weekend off. When I’m writing a post I can write any time during the day, on my schedule. When I prepare Thursday’s post it takes a lot more time and I’m somewhat dependent on other people.

I didn’t do what I should have done to prepare for the weekend off and therefore I don’t have a story to share.

So instead I thought I would share a little more of why this part of Living in Green Grass is so important to me.

The process of creating a story has many steps. Normally, I ask someone I know if they would be willing to allow me to interview them. If they agree, I send them an email with a few questions and wait to hear a reply. From that email, I sometimes have follow up questions before I ever begin to write.

I find it relaxing to write and when I share stores about others I learn new things. I see sides of them that I didn’t know existed. I am inspired to continue toward contentment in every part of my life.

Beyond me, I love encouraging other people. I want to inspire others to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and start focusing on the beauty around them. I feel like the best way to do this is to share not only my own life, but how other people live too.

Finally, it keeps me focused on others. Instead of constantly looking inward for writing material, I look outward. I get to be inspired by all kinds of people and I love sharing the joy with the world.

Sometimes it is comforting to know that other people struggle too. Instead of creating a picture perfect life, I like to show happiness through the struggle.

I dream of a day when Living in Green Grass is so large that I have to stop sharing many of my own stories and am instead sharing a story about someone else almost every day. I imagine a blog that acknowledges the struggles in life and also celebrates the good times.

It is a lot of work to get there, and I will some day.

If you have a personal story to share or would like to share about someone who inspires you, please let me know. I would love to hear it! You can fill out a short form on the Green Grass Awards tab or here and I will get right back to you.

Together we can encourage others to be a little more content in life.

~Crystal

Whatever is True

Last week I talked about how My One Word of the year is shifting from “Whatever you want from me God” to finding God in whatever is good. It is a way to keep me focused on God throughout the good times, not just when I feel like I need Him to carry me through the bad.

I picked Philippians 4:8-9 as a theme verse for the next few months.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

looking up true

Nemo / Pixabay

True:

I like to break down words and dissect them. I like to dig deep and really understand what the core of the word means. Dictionary.com has 17 different definitions. It defines true as:

  1. being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false
  2. real; genuine; authentic
  3. sincere
  4. firm in allegiance
  5. being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something
  6. conforming to or consistent with a standard, pattern, or the like
  7. exact
  8. of the right kind; such as it should be; proper
  9. properly so called; rightly answering to a description
  10. legitimate or rightful
  11. reliable, unfailing, or sure
  12. exactly or accurately shaped, formed, fitted, or placed, as a surface, instrument, or part of a mechanism.
  13. honest; honorable; upright
  14. Biology. conforming to the type, norm, or standard of structure of a particular group; typical
  15. Animal husbandry, purebred
  16. Navigation. (of a bearing, course, etc.) determined in relation to true north
  17. Archaic. truthful

 

As I often learn when I go on these word journeys, one word can have so much depth and dimension. Being true is not simply being honest or saying the right things.

According to the scripture in Philippians, I should be thinking about whatever is true. My mind should be focused on that, whatever it may be. What does that mean for the other things–things that may not be genuine, authentic, or based in reality? I should put them out of my mind.

When I was going through this and really digging into the word, it struck me that this has so much to do with being content. Being content is accepting reality or what is true. It is setting goals based in what is genuine and not allowing yourself to be deluded with dreams that will probably never come.

I was 25 when I gave birth to The Inventor. It was not an easy pregnancy. Much of it was spent with lifting restrictions. I couldn’t lift Miss Crafty for months which is not easy when dealing with a 1 year old. I didn’t enjoy being pregnant at all.

I got to the point where my maternal instinct kicked in and I knew that there was something very wrong. The doctors couldn’t see anything on their tests so they just reassured me and sent me home. Week, after week, after week.

After The Inventor was born some things happened that terrified me. The complications that could have gone wrong and resulted in one or both or our deaths still haunt me to this day. She is a child that was protected by God from the time she was conceived until she took her first breath. She very easily could have died inside of me.

The Husband and I discussed things. We had always thought that 2 children would be a good size for our family. The circumstances behind my pregnancy brought the discussion to a new level. It isn’t that I can’t get pregnant, but the question became–should I?

How does that relate to thinking about whatever is true?

It wasn’t a dream of mine to have a larger family, but this was the last straw. It came down to accepting reality and what was true. I struggled for a bit. It felt like the choice was taken out of my hands. Do I have the emotional strength to go through that again–fearing a long list of ‘what-ifs”? Honestly, I don’t and I’m not sure it would be responsible knowing what could happen.

I had to accept the fact that I will never be pregnant again. At 25 most women haven’t begun planning their families–mine was complete. Yes, there is adoption but I’ve never felt that pull.

I could have stayed in the delusion, dreaming of another good pregnancy more like my first than my second. I could have fantasized about a larger family and more children running around my house. I could have let it consume me.

I probably would have ended up depressed and it would have affected those around me. My relationship with The Husband and my children would have suffered.

An interesting thing happened.

I chose to focus on my reality and accept it–I focused on what was true. I became happy, content, fulfilled.

I don’t feel that motherly tug when I see a baby. I don’t hate them, but I certainly don’t feel any desire to have one of my own or even more children in my house. I was at peace.

Perhaps your truth doesn’t involve children or family size.

….Maybe it is the dream of a car that is so far out of budget that it will never be in reach.

….Or a house that has an extra bathroom, an extra bedroom or two, and a large yard but you will never be able to afford the mortgage.

….Or a job that sounds really cool but there is no feasible way to ever achieve it. (I’m not saying don’t go back to school, but some jobs are just not a reality for all people.)

…Or a spouse that never does anything wrong and always treats you like royalty.

….Or a boyfriend/girlfriend that belongs more in the latest romance movie than in real life.

….Fill in the blank here with your own unreachable dream.

Accepting what is true can be a hard pill to swallow. There are often consequences. When you accept what is true you are giving up a dream, but you will receive so much more in return.

Happiness.

Contentment.

Green Grass.

~Crystal

 

Staying focused on my patch of grass and my own truth:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I have been getting bids from people to re-do our roof. I accepted a bid yesterday. It feels good to finally get started on this project. I’m sure there is a blog post in the future about being in a house hearing the pounding of nails all day long.
  • The girls were out of town all weekend. I love having them back at home and feeling their unconditional hugs.

Thank Yourself

These past few Tuesdays I’ve been highlighting some forgotten people who often get little thanks. Today I’m highlighting you.

It is easy to get busy in life and forget to take care of yourself. I know it happens to me all the time. The school year gets rolling, I’m busy juggling this or that, and soon my me-time disappears.

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This past weekend my parents and sister took Miss Crafty and The Inventor on a trip. They had a blast spending time with the grandparents and their aunt. I haven’t heard all the stories yet but I can tell by the smiles on their faces that lots of memories were made.

It would have been easy for The Husband and I to plan something but instead we decided to do nothing. We swung by the store on Friday evening to pick up a few don’t-want-to-have-to-share treats and headed home.

It was quite eye opening how much our diet has changed recently. The Husband and I walked up and down every isle in the store. We passed the chips–nothing looked good. We headed down the soda isle–that didn’t go into our cart either. Honestly, none of it looked appetizing. A year ago our cart would have been loaded with soda, ice cream and chips.

What did we buy?

  • Noodles, bacon & cabbage so The Husband could cook himself some oriental dish that he likes but rarely makes because it contains gluten.
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Salsa to go on the corn chips already at home
  • Orange flavored sparkling water
  • Almonds coated in dark chocolate powder (they were good, but they ended up making me sick)
  • a bag of Starburst–this was the only sugary junk food item we bought

Once we got home, we closed up the curtains, cooked ourselves dinner and lived in the cave, all weekend long.

We played our online game together, caught up on a few episodes of Grimm, and just relaxed. It was refreshing.

Honestly, we didn’t even spend the entire time together. Most of the day I was in our room on my computer and he was out front on his. There were times when I just laid down and rested, being completely lazy. It was about not having any commitments or having to do anything.

I ignored my phone, including texts, and stayed off all social media. I didn’t realize how much of my day is filled with Facebook and other things online. I didn’t have a problem shutting it off, but it made me more aware.

relax and thank yourself

Nemo / Pixabay

I need this every now and then. It is my way to relax and rejuvenate. I forgot about the world and my responsibilities for a while. I took care of myself.

In a life where I think of ways to thank others and am constantly looking for the little ways to make things better for all around me, it is nice to stop every now and then. Stop and say thank you to me.

A 3-day weekend cooped up in your house might not be your idea of relaxation, but it is mine. I encourage you to figure out something low-budget that still lets you relax and spend some time doing that sometime soon. It is worth it!

~Crystal

Happy Memorial Day!

I’m keeping this short today:

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Today is Memorial Day. A day when we remember and celebrate our heroes–those who have fought and died for our country.

I love history and I love to look into why we celebrate certain holidays. Here is a short background on Memorial Day:

Memorial day began shortly after the Civil War and was known as Decoration Day. It was originally organized by General John A. Logan as a way to remember those from the North who fought in the Civil War.

It was not until World War 1 that many Southern states began to recognize Memorial Day.

Also, you may have noticed coins on the gravestones of our war heroes. I never knew why or the significance until a few days ago. Each coin has its own meaning as a message to the family.

Some links for more information:

 

Take a little time to remember those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms and enjoy your day with your family!

~Crystal

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