Friday, August 26, 2011

Etsy Shop Sneak Peek!

     I'm still working on getting the RevivingHomemaking Etsy shop launched. My goal is to have it up by early next week. I'm so excited about it, though, that I had to post a sneak peek!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Reclaiming an "I'm Sorry" Home

                “I’m sorry!” The words escape so frequently there becomes an ease to its flow. Between the walls of a home reside the hundreds of “sorrys” that have been released. Is there an ill in saying “I’m sorry?” Not necessarily. In fact, it would be praiseworthy for an individual to admit when he/she has done wrong and seek to confess such to the offended. However, does there come a point in which the word becomes empty and routine? Does making this repeated confession deepen the burden of guilt of imperfection or failure?
                It’s interesting how “sorry” quickly takes on the hissing sound of a snake when said too often. It no longer sounds as the innocence it should but more of a deception. Indeed, we may be genuinely apologetic for the occurrence. Yet, we’ve said it so many times that it loses its totality of truthfulness. Where holes of casual and careless familiarity form, guilt rapidly fills. In the end, the “I’m sorry” statement extends with “…I just can’t do anything right,” though it is false it remains believable.
              In the next moment we find ourselves repeating the offense and feeling weighed down even further. The guilt of a repetitive “sorry” can break us down and tear at the family in a similar fashion. Is there not to be more than a cycle of guilt-ridden sorrys?

Understanding God’s Desire for Us
                First and foremost, forward motion proceeds less effectively with the luggage of yesterday. It’s difficult to let go of those things that have clung so tightly to us. However, Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Furthermore, Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.’ If we wish for something different then we must first go to the Lord with our burden of guilt, imperfection, or failure and allow him to redefine and repurpose us.

Seeking the Heart of the Matter vs. the Apology
                I heard a mother share her philosophy in handling apologies and wrongs within her home. She stated that she actually places less emphasis on “I’m sorry” and greater on finding the heart of the matter and then seeking forgiveness. To simply say “I’m sorry” addresses the result of the action or attitude. On the other hand, to look deeper for the heart of the offense is to truly discover what needs to be forgiven and corrected. Often, the issue is a character quality. For instance, in repeating (ie nagging) a request or comment to my husband it isn’t only the action of doing so that I need to seek forgiveness but also the heart of selfishness and impatience. The goal in an unpleasant situation is to gain a greater understanding and growth from it. And so, by seeking the heart of the lacking character quality I can begin to seek God’s word and help in correcting this as means of preventing a repetition in the future.

 Allowing for Appropriate Expectations & Mistakes
                Here’s the fact of the matter- we’re going to make mistakes. Exasperation and guilt keep us making them over and over because they have inhibited the lesson from being learned. Recall that we are to be forgiving and loving to others because God first forgave and loved us. What about ourselves? Do we also permit ourselves to be forgiving and loving by …well, ourselves? If we are constantly falling short of the high expectation, then perhaps that is an indicator that the bar is set inappropriately high. When married, there is so much to learn and yet there exists an expectation to be able to excel in this role despite the level of preparation or training. Begin being accepting to the idea of taking baby steps in learning the role (it is a learning process, and not innate afterall). When you set and achieve smaller goals, then the reward is so sweet and will motivate to continue on to the next level. This may mean begin establishing a daily-weekly routine for managing the home, developing cooking skills one recipe or mealtime at a time, learning a skill with small projects that may be profitable later (ie sewing etc). Take whatever the greatest sense of failure derives from and begin chipping away at it one step at a time with the understanding that mistakes must be allotted for in the natural process of learning.
                I heard a tip regarding our response to a negative result. What if we responded simply with, “I can learn from that?” My home would be much more joyful if I could replace my habit of instantaneous “failure” label with “I can learn from that!”
                 Growing beyond "I'm sorry" has been on my heart as of late. I'm certainly not where I wish to be, but at least I have a goal in trying. Perhaps this hollow hiss is also something I'm not alone in attempting to regain control over. If not, then I pray you too will be encouraged.


RevivingHomemaking Etsy store coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Recipe Sharing & Fish Tacos

       I've been asked if I post on the blog some of the recipes we use at home. I'm typically hesitant to post full recipes as they're written and without alterations. I maintain and build my own notebook of favorite recipes through collecting and trying recipes from online or cookbook resources. Only after trying and really liking a recipe will I share it with others. Recipe sharing is a great way to be inspired and expand your selection for meals to provide for your family. Since I use many recipes verbatim, I am weary of running into copyright issues by posting the complete recipe on the blog. To my understanding a blog may only direct to the source of copyrighted information. It may not be a source in itself for that material without permission from the publisher. For instance, if you searched for a particular recipe you should only be able to find it in it's entirety from the source itself,  not a blog post (unless providing a link). When quoting an outside source you are expected to only use a portion of the material and is therefore acceptable. A recipe, on the other hand, can generally only be published as a whole. (You can publish photos or steps without the amounts of ingredients as this would be withholding the full content). Another analogy would be in quoting a book as part of a piece of writing. It is permissible to quote a small portion of text, whereas to relay an entire chapter or section would be in violation. So, this may be a fairly insignificant holding of mine and I'm sure many many recipes are republished on blogs without major action. For me, though, I must stick with my conscience and direct credit where credit is due. If anyone has additional information on this matter, I would be interested in learning more. Thanks!

        With that said, what I would like to do is to provide a link whenever possible to recipes that we have deemed "keepers" and worthy of adding to the recipe notebook. I'll just make a quick post with the links and any notes I have to add based on my experience with it. Sound good? Please feel free to share any of your own or link to others that you've enjoyed!

Recipe of the Day: Fish Tacos with Guacamole Sauce
       The recipe for the Fish Tacos tastes good and is a great way to get in more fish in the diet. It calls for halibut, but any white fish will work. My husband was not a fan of the guacamole sauce (made with yogurt of all things) included. Instead, we use another recipe for Guacamole Sauce to go with the tacos.
        I  tried making my own whole wheat tortillas for the meal. They were edible, but I'd still like to find a recipe that goes beyond edible to good. If you have a recipe for tortillas (whole wheat, half and half, or regular) I'm interested in finding a "keeper". Thanks!


RevivingHomemaking store on coming soon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Take on Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo: 1 tbsp. baking soda + 1 c warm water
Conditioner: 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar + 1 c. water + dropps of essential oil (as you'd like)
     Replacing your shampoo and conditioner with homemade versions may sound rather nutty, but I love the switch and would highly recommend doing so. It cleans well and saves money.
Cost Savings
       My definition of frugality is to come to depend on consuming less purchased products. Therefore, I try to focus on maintaining my home with mulit-use products. The "shampoo" consists of water and baking soda. I already use the baking soda for an all-purpose cleaner, dishwasher detergent and cooking. The conditioner is vinegar, water, and essential oil. I use vinegar in an all-purpose cleaner, laundry softener and cooking. The essential oil, used to mask the vinegar smell, is also used in a rice heating pad and carpet freshner. I sinply use the products I already stock in my home to make my own shampoo and conditioner and by doing so save myself from having to buy the single purpose items of conventional shampoo and conditioner.

      Occassionally I get in a hurry and don't pay as close of attention to making sure I rinse all the shampoo out of my hair. The result is an itchy scalp the rest of the day. Thankfully, the baking soda & water solution will not have the same effect. If a bit of it remains unrinsed in the hair, it isn't noticable. The "shampoo" doesn't sud like conventional shampoo, but is still easy to apply and work in. Conventional conditioners require careful selection because most of them have a waxy component, which is not good for oilier hair such as mine.  The vinegar solution "conditioner" will add a smoothness and shine to the hair without leaving a waxy residue. Both require leaving them in for a minute before rinsing (just shave a leg in the meantime. hah).

Anyone else have some great personal care recipes?

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