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Monday, December 31, 2012


Jonathan Edwards had life resolutions... not necessarily New Year Resolutions.  His goals related to every area of life-- time management, how to interact with relatives, how to respond to pain, etc.

Many people approach their New Years' Resolutions the same way -- listing out far too many things to actually accomplish (although some may indeed accomplish them... good for them.  I'm far too scatterbrained for that.).

This year, I've decided to focus on one thing: spiritual growth over the year.  That's it.  I'll have mini-goals mid-year (like losing baby weight, or clearing out clutter, or doing household chores earlier in the day, or whatever)... but only one thing (I hope) will be my aim for this entire year:  knowing more and more of God.

I hope to do that through the grace of God and two primary personal actions on my part:

  1. I want to listen all the way through the Bible this year, at least once.  I recently read that you can listen to the Bible all the way through in about 72 hours... that's only 90 minutes a WEEK.  90 minutes.  Most of us spend that much time on the internet each day, and/or that much time watching TV, and/or that much time on personal hobbies.   So my plan is to (at least one day a week) play the audioBible for one hour leading up to breakfast, and then listen intermittently throughout the week during a long bath or while cooking or doing dishes, etc.
  2. I want to be systematic about practicing seven spiritual disciplines this year to pursue spiritual growth.  I've assigned one discipline for my focus each day... (I've actually already started doing this, this last week)
  • SUNDAY: Worship- I aim to intentionally and prayerfully enter into Sunday worship with a more reverent and mindful heart... this week, I listened to some of Donald Whitney's "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" and he shared how spending time in a Korean church helped him to see spiritual preparation for worship in a new light.  Each member of the congregation came in, spent time on their knees for several minutes as they entered, then went and found a seat, took off their coat, visited quietly, etc.  I won't pretend that I'm going to follow that same exact practice, but I did begin yesterday by more thoughtfully preparing my heart before church... listening to worship music (with the whole family) beforehand, praying for the pastor to be faithful to Scripture, and for my heart to take it in with wisdom and joy, etc.  
  • MONDAY: Fasting- Obviously, being 7 months pregnant now, and since I breastfeed to at least one year, this next year will not include opportunities for me to fast from food.  But I will take the opportunity each Monday to fast from things that threaten to master me.  Today, my aim was to fast from anger (and then I got angry at the AT&T customer service representative) :-/ .  But I hope to take time on various Mondays to fast from the internet, or from my phone, or from criticism, or from grumbling... I'm thinking (surely, as a sinner) I can find 52 ungodly, unhelpful, or potentially mastering things that I can fast from in order to bring balance and greater control from God in areas where I might otherwise go the way of culture or flesh.
  • TUESDAY: Prayer- A focused day to intentionally pray in my free moments.
  • WEDNESDAY: Serving- Last year, I taught ladies' Bible studies on Wednesdays.  This year, with a new baby, I won't be doing that.  But I will look for opportunities to serve others on that day... whether by doing something from home that helps/blesses someone else (like making a meal for someone who's had a baby), or helping out with something at church on that day.  
  • THURSDAY: Bible Reading- This will be the day that I'll shoot to do the audioBible routine I mentioned earlier... as well as (since it's our homeschool co-op day) a day when I won't have as many homeschooling responsibilities within our home so I'll be more free to spend time listening/reading more Scripture.
  • FRIDAY: Journaling- I intentionally placed this day following my Bible reading day.  Hopefully after a day of intaking God's Word, I'll be able to thoughtfully reflect on the week in light of Scripture with greater transparency and intentionality.
  • SATURDAY: Silence & Solitude- This discipline has been largely forgotten and/or overlooked by the modern church, but I'm finding these things to be of greater and greater value for my soul as a mom of many.  This last Saturday, for example, Doug dropped me off (we only have one vehicle) in a shopping center.  I had lunch alone, wandered mindlessly through aisles of stores (buying nothing), and had time to really *think* and pray and seek to hear God in a way that I hadn't done in a long time.  I found it to be so fruitful and beneficial... and ended the day with a particular and keen awareness of my own need to focus on rooting out anger & fury from my heart (an ongoing battle for me, you may recall).

I am hoping that having an intentional focus for each day will allow me to (even if I miss days) end up with having grown overall, spiritually, by the end of the year.  I refuse to be legalistic about it... so if I miss a day, I miss a day, and I'll just get back on board when I can.  Legalism in this stage of life as a mom of little ones just sets up guilt and shame, and I won't set myself up for that.  But, having structure and an overall AIM is helpful.  So that's the goal for this year-- the aim is spiritual growth through intentional practice of disciplines when & how I am able.

What are you doing this year?  Does this spur on thoughts for you?

New Year's in the Garden - and Out

I've been thinking about the New Year. It's an interesting time. Embarking on new goals in the middle of winter can be daunting, though. Here's an example: I'm gridding out open areas in the garden for spring planting. There's a notebook and pencil on my lap to catch any inspiration that manages to breach my post breakfast inertia.Every few minutes I look out the window at that selfsame garden

The End of 2012

I honestly can't believe 2012 is drawing to a close.  It has been a busy year getting adjusted to our new home and one again doing that rip out, start over thing.  While we did put in three new raised beds this year, next year promises to see a lot of changes.  I've already ordered from Richters and will place an order for live plants as soon as they start shipping in the spring.  I have my


Igaz, hogy nálunk még csak délelőtt van, de a tokiói barátaink már javában ünnepelnek, így most kívánok minden kedves barátomnak szerte a világon nagyon boldog, sikeres, egészségben gazdag új esztendőt!

I know it's only morning here, but in Tokyo our friends are partying hard now, so I want to wish now a very happy, successful, healthy new year for every friend around the world who are partying or just preparing for the new year!

Sources on my Pinterest

Danish interior inspiration

So guys, it's almost time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. And, personally I'm soooo excited about what the new year may bring. From an interior design perspective, the Danish brand House Doctor Spring/Summer collection 2013 is leading the way. Here's a sneaky peek.

Via House Doctor blog and Decor8

Wow. I love the touches of pastels and greys against the industrial backdrop. Very cool. 

So, NEW YEAR'S EVE! What are you up to? Any exciting plans?! In case you're hosting a dinner party you can find some fab last minute inspiration for decorating your dining table here, here and here

Have a really fantastic night and see you next year! x

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Architects: FGMF Arquitetos
Location: São Paulo, 

Via ArchDaily


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Richters 2013 Herb & Vegetable Catalogue

The Richters 2013 Herb & Vegetable catalogue arrived just before Christmas but I didn't have time to browse through it until today.  Richters (located in Goodwood, Ontario) has a wonderful selection of herbs and gourmet vegetables.  Their service is speedy with reasonable shipping costs that ensure your live plants arrive safely.  This year they have added SeedZoo, a project to preserve

Friday, December 28, 2012

A White Christmas

Between gifts from family and friends and of course, Santa Claus, we had quite the bundle to be thankful for this Christmas. 

My favorite Christmas present from Mike was his thoughtfulness. He stayed up late Christmas Eve and unbeknownst to me (as I was fast asleep), he tidied the house and baked all sorts of things while waiting up for Santa. 

He even took the time to write all the dishes down on the kitchen chalkboard. 

How cute is that? 

The dishes with the (v) are vegan dishes as we are striving to be more and more vegan each day. 

He baked Sweet Potato muffins (vegan). 
They were amazing! He found the recipe here.  

Take 1: 
This is the face I get when I ask Mike to pose for a picture. 

Take 2: 
This is him contemplating my request to smile like he means it. 

Here he is with his pumpkin pie made with the last of our garden pumpkins. 
He used this pie crust recipe but substituted spelt flour for the white flour. 


Anyone have a fabulous vegan pumpkin pie recipe to share? 

I spied a little still life as I wandered through his bustling kitchen and asked, "Is this wine?" 
He had poured the wine to eliminate the sediment from the older bottle, and to let it breathe a little. 

Was he surprised that I took a picture of his breathing wine? Probably not. 

This Golden Lentil Stew is a new favorite. I think the special ingredient is the chopped dates, along with the combination of the sweeter spices and more pungent herbs. 
This dish is so good over roasted herb potatoes. 
Here is the recipe, although we opted to not add the pasta. 

Outside, the snow fell and covered each and every branch and limb that the eye could see. 

The stillness of that first snow fall is always quite magical. 

I hope that the holiday season is warming hearth and soul. 


Happy New Year. 


Antwerp home of a graphic designer

You just know that the home of a graphic designer is going to be pretty cool, especially when they have an Art Nouveau house to play with. Davy Dooms, has made a bit of masterpiece out of his 850 metre square living space in Antwerp with all it's cool scandinavian designer touches. I also love the way photographer Niko Caignie has photographed it for Remodelista using interesting angles.

Niko Caignie via Remodelista

What do you think? Your kind of home? I love the wooden touches used to soften and add warmth to the look and enjoy the clean lines, although, you know me, I could never be as orderly as this and would definitely need to add some feminine touches.

I hope you all enjoy your last weekend of 2012! See you Monday (aka New year's Eve! - woo hoo!).

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