His Goodness Graces Our {Normal} Days

“Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are…
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect Tomorrow. . .

~Mary Jean Iron

This quote that I came across for the first time on this blog
h
as often come to mind on days that are just, well, normal.

Normal usually feels comfortable,
but sometimes dull,
or old hat,
even frustrating at times!

But mostly it passes by in such a blur
that it takes purposeful eyes to stop. look. see.
and appreciate the moment before me.

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{{Saturday}} is one of my favorite days of the week.
But then almost every day of the week is one to look forward to,
for one reason or another, and I’d be hard pressed
to say just exactly which day is my first pick.

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I was inspired by the fresh snow
which had fallen the previous day . . .
and a little time out in it
with my daughters on this Saturday past.

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I do love a good Saturday that’s for sure!
Because many times it means that we’re all at home. Together.
Or, that I get to go out and do something on my own
while my good man stays with the children.
This was the case last week when I took off for several hours
to go meet up with some girls {ladies}
whom I call my “Lancaster Girlfriends”.
What a treat to sip coffee and share our hearts
with each other once again.

We were all strangers to each other less than a year ago,
but today we are interested in each other’s lives
and keeping up with each other ever since meeting {in}RL
through this website and “conference”.

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And then there was a Saturday several weeks back
when Phil and I, along with friends,
were able to take in a day seminar on raising children.
It was a refreshing day of learning and encouragment,
and sharing lunch with our friends at Panara Bread
~the four of us ready for all-out discussion!

Yes, yes. I love Saturdays.

***

But, my, how I love {{Sunday}} too.
We’re working on getting ourselves going
a little earlier in the day so that we don’t experience
so much stress in getting to church
{which is one very important key to a great Sunday!} :)

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What a lovely day this past Sunday was once again . . .
beginning with a quiet kitchen to myself,
sipping coffee, reading the Word,
deeply grateful for the remaining snow,
the sun rising, and window candles casting a warm glow . . .

A few hours later we enjoyed the pleasure of eating breakfast
with dear friends in our very own dining room!

Smiles and Sweet Children
Coffee & Tea
Baked Oatmeal with Fruit
Bacon & Eggs baked in a Muffin Tin
Conversation & Fellowship

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I told husband later that I felt almost like a “fine French parent”. :)

{in reference to the book Bringing up Bebe
which discusses the fact that French parents enjoy
pleasant adult conversation at meal times
because their kids are (in essence) expected and taught to be well-mannered
and respectful and quiet during such times . . . }

I think it was mostly due to the fact that our friends’ children
are always good like that at meal time {they’ve been well taught} . . .
Ours are learning, and with this great roll model to follow all was well today!

That was a bunny trail. Now back to the day at hand.

How beautiful to start the day off like this
and then to go to church and be blessed with the Word,
and beautiful, meaningful songs reminding us
of the promises of God,
Ancient Words, ever true,
10,000 reasons to bless the Lord,
and more!

How thankful we are to the Lord for also answering
so many, many prayers for a new senior pastor who was asked
this week and who has accepted the call . . .
since our beloved Pastor Reid retired a little over a year ago
after 30+ years of ministering to the people of our church.
We are thankful for God’s provision and timing
in providing a man of the Word for our interim pastor,
{We have so appreciated the ministry of Ken Spence!}
and now, giving another man to take this position long term.

At home again after the usual simple lunch,
naps,
reading,
or various other activities
the hours of the quiet, restful afternoon
are gone much too quickly!

We usually eat whatever can be scrounge up for our evening meal
And then this week we were off to church again to watch
Bible Quiz teams from churches all around the area.

The competition is great
and we’re proud of our very own church team
of five young adults who did a great job last night!
I’d love for my children to participate in something like this
when they reach 7th or 8th grade.

***

{{Monday}}

After the reviving, refreshing, relaxing change of pace on the weekend,
I’m usually happy to see Monday roll around again.
I never can quite understand why some say that they hate Mondays.

I enjoy getting back into our routine,
getting the house back in order,
teaching phonics & numbers & supervising craft projects & play,
starting the loads of laundry.
Did I just say that?

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Laundry ranks pretty low on the love-to-do list.
But still, there is something satisfying about it.
IF and WHEN I get all loads folded and put away in a day,
I count myself as quite accomplished! :)

This particular Monday past also involved a short phone conversation with my mom
{much too short, but other duties called from her end of the line this time~instead of mine!},
sending the children out to play in the wee bit of remaining snow
{which still involves a whole lot more than just “sending them out”
as you mothers of young ones will remember},
picture editing and trying to make room for more on my computer hard drive,
and sending out a birthday card to a favorite brother.

***

{{Tuesday}}

It’s often our most “social” day of the week next to Sunday.
Between the monthly scrapbooking day with a few friends
and the bi-weekly Tuesday Tea with ladies from our church and community,
many of our Tuesday mornings {or most of the day} are full!

I count myself blessed to be surrounded with beautiful souls
who challenge, inspire, teach, and encourage me
in so many area of my life as a woman!

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Tuesday is also the day I try to bake/make something in the kitchen.
Whether it’s a batch of granola, filling the cookie jar,
or making more yogurt . . .
it seems we always need something restocked!

***

{{Wednesday}}

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We rarely have any set plans for this day.
I love the freedom of staying home or going abroad!
{well, if Target counts as abroad}

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I am currently hosting a book club morning at my house
twice a month with a few friends {old & new},
and we are delving into the book and lifestyle of Trim, Healthy Mama.

It’s been a great experience!
I’m loving it!
Maybe I’ll get a chance to tell more about it in a later post.

***

{{Thursday}}

More normal life.

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Another lunch to pack. Little bodies to dress again.
More food to be cooked. A catch-up load of laundry to do.
Books to read and a listening ear for long-winded tales.
More phonics and painting,
and scribbles on paper and paper scraps on the floor.

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Eyes to look into. And smile approvingly.
Noses to wipe and hands to wash.
Songs to sing. Scripture to read.
Instructions to be given in life skills,
and picking up and doing chores,
and 1001 reminders in proper behavior~especially at meal time.
Baths & Prayers & Countless Kisses.

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I try to save grocery shopping
or errand running for Thursdays as well.

So happens that I’m also overjoyed
to have Aimee from this beautiful little blog and etsy shop
come, not once, but twice to my house this month on a Thursday!

She has an eye for decorating and crafting
and she has so kindly, graciously consented to help me
with bringing out the best in several rooms in my house!
{I asked her about the possibility over a year ago,
even before we began the building of our house,
because I love her style and knew I’d need help!}

Probably more of that to come in the future!
A little show & tell, you know.

***

{{Friday}}

A final day of weekday “normal”
before the weekend is here and the wonder
of a seven-day pattern that God ordained
from the very beginning of time, begins anew!

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My main goal for this day is to get my house orderly & cleaned
and wash the bedding and make them up again.
But again {like laundry day}, I’ll certainly feel
most accomplished if everything really and truly gets done!
Often something is left for Saturday,
or {do I really have to tell?}
doesn’t get done at all.

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I love our new home.
The newness,
the room to spread out,
space to seat people at our dining room table,
being in a more open space
and for the large windows that allow light to flood in!

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With the space comes more to clean though~of course!
And all that light flooding in shows eeeevery speck of dust!
So I am trying to learn to stay on top of the cleaning
a little more than I ever had to before,
and also use it as a reminder to get my children
involved in the process . . . so that I can eventually
work myself right out of that job! {maybe}

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***

Lord, Thou has been our dwelling place in all generations . . .
The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
Or even by reason of strength, fourscore years,
yet is their pride but labor and sorrow;
for it is soon gone, and we fly away . . .

So teach us to number our days,
That we may get us a heart of wisdom . . .

Oh satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days . . .

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And establish Thou the work of our hands upon us.
Yea, the work of our hands, establish Thou it.
{Portions of Psalm 90}

***

So, in all of it.
The normal life,
the daily grind,
and the many blessings He bestows . . .
I desire to be about my Father’s business.
That He would build and establish
the important work in and through me & my family.
Because unless the Lord build the house,
they labor in vain who build it.

Amen.

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12 Responses to His Goodness Graces Our {Normal} Days

  1. Kim A. January 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Love this, Shelly! :)

  2. Rebekah Martin January 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Love this post Shelly. It really is delightful the way God created life with so much diversity. Each day, and each season is different, and full of surprises. It makes life so much fun. Totally enjoyed reading this!!

  3. Betsy January 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Blessed to hear how you are blessed to be a wife and mother. Many could learn from you, please continue sharing. Thank you.

  4. Mary Nissley January 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    I am so inspired by reading your blog. You have it slo well worded just how I feel about life. I love life and God is so good to me.

    • Shelly January 31, 2013 at 7:04 am #

      Thanks, Kim, Rebekah, Betsy, and Mom N.! You all are beautiful women in my life!

  5. Laura January 31, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    This was so good to read at the start of my “normal” Thursday! I have been challenged recently to be ever so thankful for normal days. This month has been a blur of coughing/cold/flu sickness, followed by a Saturday afternoon 4 hour ER visit with my 8 month old [with company coming for lunch on Sunday. eek!], then the stomach bug, back to coughing. This week has been just SO NORMAL and I am sooo thankful. And yet, even in the midst of all that, I realized just how blessed I still was/am! They were temporary things! So many people have chronic or terminal illnesses, and then I dare to complain about a little flu bug? So yeah, all that to say that I am right there with you, thanking God for the normal days. And learning to give thanks on the days are not so normal as well!

  6. Mary Landis January 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    This was beautiful! I love your new house and your fun get-togethers….one of these days, Tracy and I are going to come. :)

  7. Marisa S January 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I love your posts and how they are almost always accented by pictures of a loving family and home. Your house looks wonderful and very clean, however you did mention a bit of a struggle getting used to maintaining the much larger space. I am not sure if you have ever tried it but I am a member of http://flylady.net Each day you are given small tasks and there are tasks for your kids as well, so that you can stay ontop of cleaning and even make it fun, and best of all stay on top of clutter. Since you just moved i am guessing you don’t have much for clutter but with three little ones I am sure it can easily pile up. Anyway, I thought you may find her advice and humor interesting. The products they sell are as good as they claim, though i dont have them all, i just have what i need. I am excited to get the “tour” of your home one of these days. I am sure it is beautiful inside considering the outside looks so amazing! God bless you and the family.

  8. Rosanna January 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I love this post, Shelly! I have come to love the normal stay at home days, and I will say Monday is one of my favorite days of the week because I am almost always home that day. And somehow I want to instill that in my children also, because at present they think it is most fun to go away and do something fun everyday of the week:) And I count it a privilege to have been a guest in your home, and see it’s loveliness IRL!

    • Shelly February 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      @Laura ~ Yes, those sick days can make a mother so glad for the “boring” normal days, right? I often think of a wise man’s words about so much of life being about endurance, especially the role we play in the home, and the tasks we do over and over again . . . Hang in there today with your family and all those “unnoticed” things you do!

      @Mary ~ Yes! Yes! ONE OF THESE DAYS it shall be you and Tracy. I can’t wait. 😉

      @Marisa ~ Thanks for the mention about FlyLady. I have actually followed her helps for cleaning for quite a few years, and you are right, it does keep things from getting so overwhelming when you work at the cleaning throughout the week. I especially like the “Weekly Home Blessing Hour” for a quick clean up around the house! I’m looking forward to giving a house tour sometime too! Haven’t decided yet if I should do it now or wait til a few more major things are completed . . . like the tile backsplash in the kitchen, fireplace in the living room, etc. But definitely one day. We are enjoying the house so much!

      @Rosanna ~ I count it a privilege to HAVE you as a guest {friend} in my home. It’s been a pleasure! :)

  9. clarita February 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh, this is just LOVELY!
    Janelle just has the best quotes, doesn’t she? I love that about her site.
    The snow pictures… oh, they’re DREAMY!! I love that you got in the picture too. I handed the camera to Zoe the other day (with Ben in the room) and said, “Here, take some pictures of me with Hudson too, otherwise there will never be any pictures of me!” Seriously, I’m always behind the camera. Not that I always *like* being in the picture or feel ready for it, but I don’t want my kids to remember me as a little old lady!! I want them to remember me young and with brown hair and before I dressed in Christopher & Banks clothing!! :)
    The glimpses of your house are just beautiful!! Even though I’ve been there, I do hope you’re planning to give a little tour of it via your blog for others to see, even so I can see it again. :) Lucky you getting Aimee to help you!

    Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!
    xoxo

    • Shelly February 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Ha ha! Snort! “Before I dressed in Christopher & Banks clothing!!” You make me laugh! Do you think we’ll really have to resort to Christopher & Banks??! Scary thought that those would perhaps be the only appropriate, classy clothes for our body shapes in our old age, right?

      Yes, I plan to do a “tour” of the house. There are just a few too many things yet that I’d love to have done first. Seems like there’s a least ONE MAJOR THING in each room. But if it goes too long, maybe I can do a quick tour of “now” and then do a “finished” tour later. :)

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