• DIY Painted Barn Quilt

    Let’s Get Crafty!

    This DIY painted barn quilt is a quick project unless you hurt your back and end up snacking on ibuprofen and stuffing ice packs down the back of your underwear. (Ask me how I know!)

    Here’s what you’ll need.

    Supplies

    • Graph paper
    • Ruler- I talk about my favorite ruler on my Catalog of Favorites page.
    • Pencil
    • Colored pencils/crayons/markers (to shade in your color choices on paper)
    • Blue painters tape
    • Paint brushes
    • 4 Paint colors- I used acrylic paint but any paint will work
    • Wood- I used a 12 inch square

     

    barn quilt grid pattern


    Directions

    On Graph paper

    Think of a grid of 9. Grab your graph paper and number the squares 1-12 across and down one side.

    (Each square represents 1 inch.)

    1.  Mark your lines at 4 and 8 inches both ways. (pic #1)
    2. Divide up the individual sections as shown. (pic #2)
    3. Once your sections are drawn out, Label Label Label!

    I used W- White / L- Light Gray/ D- Dark Gray/ M- Seafoam


    Prepping your design on wood

    Transfer the pattern to a blank piece of paper.*optional

    Paint the whole piece of wood with your “W” color.

    Mark your lines LIGHTLY! (Don’t be me and draw your lines so dark it took extra coats to cover my pencil marks.)

    *To make sure I don’t completely space out , I dab a TINY bit of the correct paint color in each section once I’ve marked my lines. (pic #5)

    step by step for barn quilt

    Blue painters tape is your friend.

    Once your wood is dry from your base color, paint the section that has the lightest color.(For me it was Lt. Gray)

    Paint as many coats as you like. I wanted it to be completely covered, so I did 3 coats.

    Let it dry in between each coat. (If you don’t, you’ll just smear the paint around without adding coverage.)

    Once you’ve applied the final coat, remove the tape.

    Set it aside to dry completely so that you won’t lift paint when you tape off your next color section.

    Keep working this way until your pattern is finished and you can bask in the glory of your Barn Quilt skills!


    Final thoughts

    If you’d like to make a larger size, I’d recommend 24 or 36 inches.

    You use the same grid of 9, just in a larger size. (I did that for the 36 inch barn quilt large navy and white barn quilt I made for our front porch.) Find more inspiration for block designs at Patchwork Square.

    Finally, If  you’re a person that needs to see a demonstration, head over to Facebook and watch me talk you through all the steps.

    Go make your very own painted barn quilt!

    Tag me on instagram and show me, ok?

    DIY Barn Quilt

  • Are you pointed in the right direction?

    Have you played the “Why” game with a child?

    Why do I have to go to bed?

    Why do I have to eat dinner before I can have dessert?

    Why do I have to wear pants?

    “Because Mommy said so” isn’t always the best answer. (Especially to the dessert question.)Set goals on purpose

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to take the time and answer the questions in your worksheets. (I even gave you serious eyes during Facebook Live.)

    (*Make sure you grab your worksheets to be entered into the giveaway NEXT WEEK!)

    Knowing WHY helps us establish a secure foundation.

    If I lose my sense of direction by focusing too closely on the steps instead of my ultimate goal, what’s the point?

    Matthew 7:24-25

    “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

    And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

    Solid rock I stand hymnThere will be days that don’t go as planned.

    Rain will fall and wind will blow.

    Don’t let circumstances steer you away from the Rock on which you stand.

    Don't let circumstances steer you away from the Rock on which you stand. Click To Tweet

    Turn your face towards His amazing grace.

    Edward Mote wrote “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” in 1834.

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    His oath, His covenant, and blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When every earthly prop gives way,
    He then is all my Hope and Stay.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found,
    Clothed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne!
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    The bloom is the result of all the work the bulb has gone through.

    Give yourself time to bloom. Choose Progress over Perfection. Click To Tweet

    When the tulip’s ready, you’ll see the leaves push through the soil, unfurl themselves, and the scape (stem of the flower) will begin to grow straight up towards the sun.

    Are you looking in the right direction?

    Are you facing the right direction?Tulips respond to sunlight.

    Their petals open and close depending on the amount of light shining on them and they follow the path of the sun throughout the day.

    Be the Tulip!

    Keep your face towards the Son and follow the path He has for you.

    Why?

    Matthew 5:16-17

    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

    ** Make sure you grab your FREE worksheets HERE and join me every Tuesday at 11 CST on Facebook Live.

    Turn your face in the right direction

  • Use your Energy to Focus on Growth

    Week 4 focus on your goalsAre you feeling bulb-like?

    Spring is in the air, the ground begins to thaw, and change begins to take place.

    This week of our goal challenge, that’s what we’ll be doing.

    Focus on growth.

    If you’re rooted in and growing in good soil, progress will start to peek through.

    Remember  Philippians 3:12 from our first week?

    Paul continues on with this encouragement in verses 13-14.

    Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Press on towards your goal.

    In 2 Chronicles 14, Asa becomes the third king of Judah and starts to make changes throughout the kingdom. (2 Chronicles 14:2 “Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord”)

    Then the Cushite Army shows up. (2 Chronicles 14:8)

    The odds were stacked against Asa…But God was on his side.

    Go read it. I’ll wait!

    After the battle,  2 Chronicles says, “The Spirit of God came on Azariah” with a message for Asa.

    Stick with God. He’s got your back!

    Stick with God. He's got your back! Click To Tweet

    2 Chronicles 15:7 (HCSB)

    But as for you, be strong; don’t be discouraged, for your work has a reward.

    Don’t let discouragement win.

    Statistics say only about 60% of people stick with their goals after a few weeks. What makes some people more successful than others? (Other than having ME as a cheerleader?)

    1. Written goals
    2. Specific steps/strategy
    3. Telling someone
    4. Recognizing growth

    Change takes time.

    Before a tulip can bloom, the carbohydrates in the bulb have to turn to sugar. (Similar to how my body runs. Pure sugar.)

    The bulb focuses it’s energy towards the leaves and flower to push up through the soil, but until you see that little green leaf tip poking though, it can feel like winter will last forever.Focus your energy on growth.

    I understand the desire to give up.

    Excitement wears off, obstacles hinder your efforts, or you’re trying to white knuckle your way and you’re over it.

    Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

    And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

    Keep your eyes forward.

    Focus all your energy on growing up. (Wait… That sounds rude.)

    You know what I mean, right?

    Be the Bulb!

    A bulb doesn’t decide it’s too hard.

    If it’s rooted in and growing in good soil, the bulb blooms.

    It was made that way. Root, grow, bloom.

    YOU were made to bloom.

    Ephesians 2:10

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    Don’t give up.

    Focus your energy on growth.

     

     

  • Is the soil you’re planted in nourishing progress?

    Are you growing in good soil?Food is fuel.

    Cupcakes, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Hot Tamales candy are a few of my favorite foods.

    Unfortunately, I can’t live off of them. (Believe me. I’ve tried.)

    Snug waistbands and sugar headaches isn’t the title of my autobiography, they’re the consequences of poor food choices.

    Our bodies need food to grow and stay healthy.

    Proper nutrition is essential for our brains and bodies to work well.

    Have you ever been around a “hangry” teenager?

    Get food.

    Do not pass Go.

    Do not collect $200. (Unless you use that money to buy food.)

    I can throw a bag of chips at him so he’ll stop growling, but it won’t satisfy his hunger for long.

    True nourishment contains the right ingredients.

    If you’ve ever seen a 4-year-old (or 42) on a sugar high, you know what happens after that burst of energy burst wears off.

    The ingredients don’t hold the nourishment the body needs to endure that level of activity.

    Draw from the ground you're planted in.If a bulb isn’t planted in good soil, it won’t have the energy to bloom.

    Bulbs grow best in slightly acidic, loose, sandy soil with plenty of organic material.

    Heavy soil doesn’t allow the roots to spread out, (for a stable foundation) and poor drainage will rot the roots.

    Remember stagnant water?

    Are you growing in good soil?

    White knuckled, race the clock, get it done goals are short-lived and misaligned with our bigger purpose.

    What we want is lasting growth.

    Take a soil test.

    The best gardeners will tell you they’re continually testing the soil, making adjustments, and watching the blooms closely for signs of trouble.

    Adding fertilizer, watering, weeding, and mulching are all beneficial to the soil, but it takes close observation to know what’s needed and when.

    Do you need to “amend the soil”.

    Is your goal sustainable?

    Are you being too hard on yourself?

    Is it going to produce a lasting difference?

    Similar to testing good seed, often times the experience we gain from not succeeding is what’s necessary for growth. Are you growing in good soil?

    The best intentions don’t always lead us in the right direction.

    The best intentions don't always lead us in the right direction. Click To Tweet

    For this challenge, my goal was to create and execute a morning workflow.

    After the first week, I knew I needed to make adjustments.

    I miscalculated the time I had and the amount of work I was able to do within the time frame I allowed.

    I had to re-think my strategy, look for solutions, and follow through EVEN WHEN it didn’t look the way I originally designed.

    Trying a new version of the same goal helps me narrow down what’s working, what I’m missing, and how to meet the result I’m looking for.

    This isn’t about being Pinterest Perfect.

    It’s about drawing from what we’re learning to make progress.

    Food for thought

    My continual prayer is that you’re encouraged and spurred on through this challenge.

    I know there are many demands on your time, energy, and attention and I don’t take it lightly that you spend a few minutes visiting my site.

    If you’ve enjoyed this post and want to stay up to date, fill out the form below and posts will be sent directly to you every week.

    I’ve been working behind the scenes on some things I pray you’ll find useful and promise NOT to flood your inbox. (I hate spam as much as you do!)

     

     

    Are you nourishing growth?

     

     

     

     

     

  • Is Pinterest the Enemy of Progress?

    Progress over Pinterest PerfectionRemember when you’d choose a birthday cake by flipping through a book at the grocery store?

    Now, parents everywhere scour Pinterest to find ways to humiliate themselves at their child’s party.

    “Mommy? What happened to my Dora birthday cake?”

    “Nothing. Why?”

    “She looks ANGRY.”

    “Does she look as angry as Mommy is for spending 7 hours trying to make you a Dora cake?”

    Your child’s frightened, the kids at the party are crying, and all the other moms are shaking their heads at you.

    Oh, the not-so Pinterest-tastic shame!

    So what if the Dora cake looks like Chucky.

    Did you learn a valuable lesson? (Buy the $30 cake next year.)

    Expectations become measured against an edited ideal without taking into consideration the time it takes to master the technique.

    Are you holding yourself up to Pinterest Perfect Goals?

    Don't get caught up in Pinterest perfect goals. Choose Progress over Perfection. Click To Tweet

    Week 2 of the challenge is about making adjustments.

    Set goals on purpose with these 10 worksheets and take the challenge.

    (If you haven’t started the challenge, it’s not too late. Click the picture or grab your worksheets HERE.)

    One of the traps I fall into is assuming that life will go as planned because I wrote it down and blocked off the time. (Or pinned it for later).

    Thinking I can make an origami turkey wrap with Panda shaped rice krispy treats for The Kid’s lunch box when I’ve never tried it before.

    I’m so focused on the end goal that I don’t take the first steps into consideration.(Not to mention my kid HATES Rice Krispy treats.)

    It takes time to break bad habits and create new ones.

    Recognize progress instead of feeling discouraged if/when plans gets derailed.

    That’s why during Facebook Live last week I emphasized the Weekly Check In by giving you my “serious eyes”.

    Examining what’s working and what needs adjusting IS progress.

    Remember the tulip analogy?

    These first few weeks are about digging deep.

    We need to establish roots.

    Grow Roots with your GoalsPaul’s letter to the church of Colossae is a great example.

    Colossians 2:6-7 (NASB)

    Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

    Paul’s concern was that believers would GROW in their spiritual maturity by becoming firmly rooted FIRST.

    He also talks about roots in Ephesians 3:17-19.

    …so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    Being rooted and grounded so that we’re able to comprehend.

    Just because you can’t “see” progress doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

    It’s not a lose 10 lbs in 10 days, make your kid behave in 3 easy steps, organize your home in 15 minutes mindset that’s going to create lasting change.

    It’s about being intentional with your time and resources so that you’ll have lasting progress throughout the year.

    Discouragement sets in when we’re more focused on the result instead of the steps we’ve made.

    Understand that change takes time and mis-steps aren’t failure.

    We learn, grow, and shift direction when the steps we take with our goals aren’t working.

    I love the comment Susan from The Sparrows Home left last week:

    Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was that “You can’t steer a ship that’s not moving”. If you get going, even if you’re going in the wrong direction, you can be steered to the right one, but if you’re not moving…well, you’re not moving!

    Remember, it’s Progress over Perfection.

    Keep moving forward and forget about your goals being Pinterest Worthy.

    Make sure you don’t miss a thing around here.

    Plus, every Tuesday at 11 CST I’m Live on Facebook to check in with how y’all are doing.

    If you can’t make it live, you can always catch the replay.

    *UPDATE: Click HERE for week 2 Facebook Live video.

    See you soon, friend!

    Stop trying to have Pinterest perfect goals.

  • Choose Progress over Perfection

    Set your purpose

    It’s that time.

    Time to put a cupcake where your mouth is.

    (I told you this was gonna be fun.)

    Where the rubber meets the road.

    Put the pedal to the metal… or as The Kid calls it, “Drive like my mother.”

    Are you ready to choose Progress over Perfection?

    Last week on Facebook Live, I talked about my aversion to goal setting.

    Between my stubborn personality and tendency to say No just because everyone else is saying YES, I hopped off the New Year Resolution Train YEARS ago. (There are books I won’t read and shows I won’t watch just because “everyone” else is reading and watching them.)

    I do love a fresh start, though.

    Taking a personal inventory on what worked, what didn’t, and what I’d like to improve going forward.

    I’m reminded of the phrase “Stagnant Water STINKS”.

    Have you ever been near a pond that doesn’t have a source of fresh water?

    The water gets cloudy, odd things start growing on it, and the smell is “distinctive”.

    It Stinks!

    There’s no way for fresh water to come in and flush away the junk, break up the sludge, and allow new life to take root.

    Let this be the year you don’t Stink!

    Don't be stagnant water. Move towards progress this year. Click To Tweet

    That’s what this Challenge is all about.

    Think about this challenge as a tulip bulb.

    Purpose for the season

    You need to dig deep when you plant the bulbs and let them become established UNDER the soil.

    It “looks” like nothing’s happening.

    The roots start growing from the base and draw in nourishment from the ground they’re planted in.

    Then the Magic begins.

    The leaves and flower begin to push upwards out of the bulb and through the soil.

    This happens towards the END of the cycle.

    After the bloom finishes, the flower’s cut and the bulb enters regeneration. The bulb multiplies under the soil and the process starts again.

    Bloom in Progress

    That’s what Progress looks like.

    Becoming rooted in, establishing new habits, and pushing upwards. That’s when you’re able to see the change that’s happening.

    Paul writes in Philippians 3:12

    Not that I have already reached the goal or am fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

    Paul acknowledges his imperfection and indicates the need for growth.

    Here are some synonyms for the word “Goal”.

    Purpose (Hello Word for 2016.)

    Intention

    An Endeavor

    Let’s set our intent, direct our efforts, and take steps on purpose.

    That’s why these next 5 weeks we’ll endeavor to make progress instead of achieving perfection.

    I’m taking this challenge right with y’all.

    I’ll be messing up, feeling discouraged, and wondering if I’m the source stinking up the pond just like you.

    Like High School Musical, “We’re All in this Together”.

    My “goal” (ha ha ha) is to make this challenge fun, HONEST, and encouraging.

    set goals on purposeWith an enormous amount of help from Just a Simple Home (Terryn) and my Beta testing blog bestie Sarah from 1915 house I’ve made up a series of 10 worksheets, 4 scripture cards, and 4 Progress over Perfection cards for y’all.

    Grab them HERE!

    Post the Progress over Perfection cards wherever you need a reminder.

    Your bathroom mirror, your wallet, on the refrigerator, or your forehead. (Wait…then you wouldn’t be able to see it.)

    Maybe your kid’s forehead?

    This week we’ll be using worksheets 1-3.

    They have numbers?

    Yes they do. (Insert Cheesy smile.)

    Join me every Tuesday at 11 am CST for the next 5 weeks over on my Facebook Page where we’ll chat about our goals, what’s working, and encourage each other to make Progress over Perfection.

    Plus, last week I let y’all peek inside my purse! ( Now you KNOW you need to mark your calendar.)

    Here’s Week 1 on Facebook Live. While you’re there, make sure to Like my page so you’ll be notified when I go Live.

    Since this is a Challenge, there must be prizes!

    To be eligible to win, you need to-

    1. Not be related to me 🙂
    2. Comment on this post with your goal.
    3. Take a pic USING the worksheets (or working on your goal) and post it to Instagram with the #setgoalsonpurpose hashtag and my name @2_hearts_desire. (If you’re not following me, go HERE so we can be friends.)
    4. If you aren’t on Instagram, you can comment on my Facebook Page  with your progress.

    I’ll be announcing WHAT the prizes are NEXT week.

    In order to stay “in the know” (That’s how the kids say it these days. I’m hip and With It…Or I was until I said “Hip”) you’ll want to subscribe.

    I’m working behind the scenes (Secret Spy stuff) on a few ideas I pray you’ll love and find useful this coming year.

    As I mentioned last week, the challenge will end on February 21st because it’s my birthday!

    I’d love to have you join in.

    Anytime you need encouragement or have a question, reach out in the comments below or on Social Media.

    Ready?

    Grab your worksheets and encouragement cards HERE.

    Let’s Do this!

     

     

    Set goals on Purpose

     

     

  • Goal Setting Challenge

    Goal setting

    Let’s start at the very beginning.

    A very good place to start.

    Don’t worry.

    I’m not going to rip down the curtains and sew outfits for my family or move to Austria to become a former nun.

    I do love brown paper packages tied up with string, though.

    What I’d like to do is take a moment to reflect.

    I think it’s important to assess the damage “wonderful opportunities for growth” 2016 brought before making new goals for 2017.

    2016 scared the sugar right out of me.

    It’s a good thing I keep a healthy supply for emergencies.

    It messed with my perfectly disconnected, going through the motions, stagnant daily life.

    (It also reinforced why I don’t have Cable, but that’s another story.)

    Last Year was all about stepping up, stepping out, and moving forward.

    goal setting

    I launched the blog with this post, used a computer for more than email, Pinterest, and shopping on Amazon. (Oh, Prime two-day shipping. How I love thee.)

    I connected more with other humans raised by humans (name that movie) than I have in… let’s just say “a while”.

    My family put down roots in our new home and in the garden. (Anyone want some sweet potatoes? I’ve got plenty!)

    I even took up the challenge and showed myself on Facebook Live.

    I spent many mornings than I care to count wrecked with fear, doubt, and exhaustion.

    My first blog post had 59 revisions and 370 words.

    59!

    I haven’t even changed my hair color, lipstick, or moved that many times.

    I was busier than ever WHILE having nothing of great significance to show for it.

    Is that a marketable skill? I should look into that.

    My biggest takeaway from 2016 was that NOT succeeding at a goal is different from failing.

    I’m an “all in” type of girl.

    If I make cookies, I want them to be amazing.

    If I make a quilt, I want it to come together seamlessly. (Get it?)

    If I launch a blog because God pestered me one weekend in Nashville, I want it to be perfect.

    When something doesn’t go right, my natural tendency is to throw up my hands, announce it’s Craptown USA and walk away.

    Here’s a news flash.

    Somebody who doesn’t know how to turn on the TV might have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to blogging. (God left that part out. RUDE.)

    Did I want to give up.

    YUP.

    Just ask Sarah from 1915 House, she’ll tell you. (She’s allowed to share as long as it’s been approved per our friendship contract.)

    Not reaching a goal, being honest about it, and asking others for help (or putting it aside) isn’t failing.

    Do I preach to my kid ALL THE TIME that doing his best work is enough?

    Absolutely.

    Do I hands down, without a doubt believe it to be true for everyone else in this world?

    100%

    Did I believe it for myself?

    Nope.

    I told you I was a stubborn Ox!

    This year, I’m looking at my goals differently.

    I love what Laura Casey wrote on her blog about goals.

    Set good goals.

    Goals that go beyond the typical lose 10 lbs, go to the gym, make more money, reduce debt etc…

    Small changes that affect the course of my year and help me make steady progress.

    Make small changes towards progress this year. Click To Tweet

    I want meaningful change.

    Out of the 3 goals I have for 2017, the one I’ll be focused on is my morning routine.

    Goal Setting

    I don’t have a problem waking up (unless I’ve been up all night revising a blog post 59 times) but I’m unorganized in creating a good morning workflow.

    Also, focusing on mornings will help me take steps on 2 other goals, but those won’t happen if I don’t come up with a system that works consistently.

    I’ve held off implementing my morning routine until now because I want you to play along.

    If you participated in the Kindness Challenge you know why you’ll want to join in.

    The Challenge will run from January 17th until February 21st. (Which happens to be my birthday. Coincidence? I don’t think so.)

    set goals on purposeWhere to Start?

    1. Pray about it.
    2. Sign up HERE to grab the worksheets and scripture cards.
    3. Take the next 6 days to decide which goal you’d like to focus on for the challenge.
    4. Come back next Tuesday for our Goal Setting Kickoff!

    The easiest way to do that is subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing.

    Easy, right?

    I’ll be LIVE on Facebook at 11 CST today (January 10th) to talk more about the challenge and answer questions.

    We can do this!

     

     

     

    goal setting

     

  • Hospitality: 3 Mistakes I’ve Made

    Hospitality titleThe phone rings and I hear her say, “I just wanted to give you a heads up. I’m gonna pop on by real quick.”

    Panic Mode-Ignite!

    Dirty dishes get hidden, clean laundry gets tossed BACK in the basket, and out of the corner of my eye I see the stain on the couch cushion.

    Ding Dong. (I’m not name calling, that’s just the sound of my doorbell.)

    I rushed over, flipped the cushion, and as the story goes, “When, what to my wondering eyes should appear? A stain bigger than the first, Oh Dear!”

    (I took a little creative license on that.)

    Then there’s the time we invited a couple over for dinner.

    Any food preferences?

    “Well, we don’t eat a lot of meat.”

    I pull out my cookbooks (this was before Pinterest) and choose a meatless dinner option.

    I spent hours on a mushroom cheese layered something or other (that I’d never made before) only to watch them PICK OUT the mushrooms.

    Welcome to my life.

    In the spirit of giving, let me offer you some advice.

    Don’t be me. (Have I mentioned I am a work in progress?)

    3 Hospitality Mistakes I’ve made

    1. Focusing on Perfection

    House perfect, couch perfect, outfit perfect, perfect child, perfect marriage, perfect platter full of perfection.

    “This? I just whipped this up.”

    Liar Liar Mushroom casserole on Fire.

    People get nervous when they walk into a perfect home.

    “Don’t touch anything. Not even the perfect seashell soap in the perfect guest bath. Dirty hands are better than messing with the Feng shui.” (No judgement zone. Feng shui anything that makes you happy. God is Love. The End.)

    When I’m focusing on perfection, it becomes about ME instead of We.

    Perfection is about ME instead of focusing on We. Click To Tweet

    I have to keep my intentions in check.

    Am I presenting this to invite others to SHARE in the beauty or to PROVE that I’m worthy enough?

    Holly Gerth says, “We’re called to bless, not impress.”

    Can blessing someone involve a beautiful table, a glorious meal, and perfectly shaped soap?

    Of course. (Just give back up soap for people who are too afraid to mess it up. Me.)

    I appreciate the time and care people put into creating a home that represents what they love and I strive to do the same.

    But don’t be like me and stress about perfection over focusing on connection.

    2. I’ve got this.

    baking hospitalityOtherwise known as:

    Lies I tell my guests instead of asking for help.

    My hair’s on fire, the rolls came out looking like deadly weapons, and the dog left  “a treat” on the floor.

    No worries.

    Everything is under control.

    Have a seat in the other room and listen awkwardly while I swear under my breath.

    Please tell me I’m not the only one.

    Give your people a J.O.B.

    They came to your house to BE WITH YOU.

    Ask them to pour water in glasses, taste the gravy, stir the soup, alphabetize the cheese platter, or dial 911.

    Some of my best stories have come out of kitchen conversations or incidents.

    How did blood get on the ceiling?

    Rebecca helped.

    If they don’t want to help?

    Get better friends. (Just kidding. Well, not really.)

    3. Money = caring

    Have you ever paid $11 for a vanilla bean or spent your grocery budget for the month on one dinner party?

    How about buying all new dishes because you didn’t have a matching set?silverware for hospitality

    Providing friends and family with laughter and meaningful conversation is more than a vanilla bean could ever hope to be.

    Sitting at a table with chipped mismatched dishes creates moments a set of matching dinnerware can never replace.

    I refuse to believe the amount of money I spend on you equals the love I have for you.

    It’s just not true.

    Do you hear me?

    The amount of money you have DOES NOT equal the amount of love you are able to pour out into others.

    The amount of money you spend does not determine how much someone is loved. Click To Tweet

    1 Corinthians 16:14

    NIV: Do everything in love

    ESV: Let ALL that you do be done in love

    ISV: Everything you do should be done lovingly

    No matter which version you read, none of them say “spend money to prove you love somebody.”

    Do what you can with the Love of Christ instead of trying to compensate with overpriced vanilla beans.

    What about when you’re the receiver of Hospitality?

    I’m glad you asked.

    I love giving gifts. It’s my jam.

    The best gift you can give someone who’s shown you hospitality requires 2 things.

    1. 5 minutes of your time
    2. A willing heart

    That’s it.

    Easy enough, right?

    Write them a heartfelt letter.

    hospitality letterNot a text.

    Don’t tweet them or update your Facebook status about it.

    Take 5 minutes and write a heartfelt letter thanking them.

    Be specific. ( More than “Thanks for feeding my face. You’re great.” )

    Think about how much you love to get REAL mail that isn’t the gas, water, or electricity bill.

    I always ask The Husband, “Anything good in the mail?”

    Usually, the answer is,  “Nope. Just bills and catalogs from companies we don’t order things from.”

    #nofun

    Be the reason someone smiles.

    Let whoever extended hospitality to you know that it mattered.

    Whether you are the giver or receiver of hospitality, my prayer is that you welcome people in to your home and heart with thanksgiving.

    2 Corinthians 9:15

    Thanks be to God for HIS inexpressible gift.

    What is your favorite way to show hospitality?

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    3 hospitality mistakes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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