My Prayer for Our Home

Recently, I have been doing a lot of reading, thinking, and praying for our home. I finished my job as a tutor/nanny just a few weeks ago, and since then I have been convicted with a strong desire to be effective as I enter this new season as a full-time homemaker and stay at home mama. I am overwhelmed knowing how blessed I am to have the best job in the world! I want to make the best use of my time and for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in us as we make a life for our family, shaped and led by His Spirit. As a homemaker I have the beautiful task of creating a place of beauty, comfort, and rest that points to the redemptive work of our great Savior. In one of the many books I am reading right now the author compared home to a sea port with a lighthouse. Many people will come and go through our front door, and by God’s grace I will strive to create a place that is a beacon of light and safe space for their souls. I put together this little prayer to remind me of the vision I pray defines our home. I plan to print it and display it somewhere for me to see often as I ask the Lord’s grace to fill our home each and every day, and I thought I would share it here with you as well! P.S. I totally stole most of the ideas written in this prayer from all the brilliant women whose books I’ve been reading, so all credit for such beautiful, well-spoken words goes to them ūüôā

Father,
May our home be a place that, above all, calls attention to the surpassing worth of Your glory and grace. May the whispers of Your love be in every touch given, every word of encouragement, affirmation, exhortation, or correction spoken, and every deed done. My greatest prayer for this place is that for all who enter, it would be impossible to keep from thinking of You. I ask that You mold our home into a place that cultivates redeeming words, thoughts, and actions shared and taught, where Your wisdom and instructions found in Your Word are passed along and offered to all who come under our influence. My desire is that this would be a space of belonging and becoming where those who enter find refuge and comfort from the harshness of this world. May we impart your comfort, safety, and rest to the hurting. Shape a space where the redemptive reality of beauty heals and restores Рwhere loveliness tells of something beyond the brokenness. Through every experience of pleasure and joy that happens under our care, may it be a constant reminder of the promise of a coming and complete redemption when we are with You one day. I pray that through our home’s atmosphere and our heart’s love for these people whom you have created we support vibrant, joyful, productive living and the growth of body, mind and soul. May this humble, earthly home be a conduit of grace, pointing people to the blessed hope of spending eternity with you someday. Amen!

My Book Stack This Week:
Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson
Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson
Feminine Appeal Carolyn Mahaney
The Pastor’s Wife by Gloria Furman
Attitudes of a Transformed Heart by Martha Peace

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About: Preaching to My Own Heart

I wanted to write a short introductory post behind the “Preaching to My Own Heart” series that I will be posting to¬†as the Lord leads.¬†Particularly in the early months of new motherhood when I was sleep-deprived and recovering from the physical taxation that pregnancy and birth put on my body, I had a very difficult time focusing due to that blessed brain fogginess otherwise known as “Mommy-brain.” Digging into the Word was no easy task, and I often found myself neglecting my scriptural studies out of discouragement that I didn’t seem to be getting anything out of it. Looking back, I wish I had had a book of short, truth-packed devotionals that would’ve been written in a way that was conducive to helping a fuzzy-brained mom focus and meditate throughout the day. Now, it is very possible that that book is out there and¬†that I just haven’t heard of it! But so far in my limited experience, I have noticed that short devotionals written to women are often overly centered on us as people rather than on God and His precious truth. With this in mind, God has put it on my heart to write¬†this series.

Each entry will be focused around a specific word or ¬†short phrase to shape that day’s meditation. Even at the height of exhaustion, I can remember one word! Then there will be a corresponding scripture and some thoughts to inform my understanding of what that word means through the lens of God’s Word. Lastly, it will end with a worship song suggestion that can be listened to throughout the day to help me continue meditating on that day’s truth. While I am doing this first and foremost for my own heart, I pray that by sharing it here in this space that it will be of encouragement to you as well. Enjoy! And may, “the Word of Christ richly dwell in you,” (Colossians 3:16).

What’s in a Name?

Shakespeare famously wrote,¬†“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by¬†any other name, would smell as sweet.” Well, sorry, Shakespeare, but in AmandaLand* there is a whole lot in a name, at least when it comes to naming a blog. Naming my original blog, The Moderate Wife,¬†took me a couple of months last year when I decided I wanted to launch an online journal and attempted to come up with something creative that captured the essence of what I was seeking to communicate. Unfortunately, almost immediately after hitting “publish” on my first couple of posts, I realized fairly quickly that I hated it. What sounded fun and catchy when I was in the planning process suddenly grated on my ears. It didn’t encapsulate¬†the heart of what I cared about and suddenly felt very confining. That was a total inspiration-killer, and I developed horrible writer’s block. After two months of thinking, I really need to just write, the name isn’t that important, but not making any mental progress, I finally decided to just move on, scratch the old blog, and start over.

This new name,¬†Grace ‘n’ Goodness,¬†has me re-inspired and ready to put fingers to computer keys once again! I hope all my words are gracious, and good things are the only the ones worth writing about anyway, right? Just kidding, that’s not where I came up with that name. Really, the reason behind naming this blog Grace ‘n’ Goodness is a passion to dedicate my life, and therefore my thoughts, to the amazing grace given to me in Christ. I believe with all my heart that it is only through the grace of God that we have access to the truly good life. Philosophers and theologians of old coined the phrase, “the good, the true, and the beautiful” to describe the ultimate desire of man’s heart. As a Christian, it is my prayer that I allow the Holy Spirit to shape my tastes and enhance my joy as I encounter each of those three things through the Word, Creation, and relationships. The reaches of God’s grace extend from the quiet moments when I am before Him in prayer and worship in the early morning¬†into the afternoon when my caffeine high has worn off and I am correcting another math work sheet or changing the fifth diaper that day. God’s goodness is revealed to me in a plethora of moments, in innumerable ways, and I hope I get to share about some of them here. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me (again)!

I will be transferring and back-dating the few posts that I did share over at The Moderate Wife over to this blog in order to preserve the future blog book that I hope to make someday when I have written enough print-worthy posts to sit as an album on my coffee table!

*Thank you for that expression, friend… You know who you are! ūüėČ

12/27/15-01/02/16 {The Moderate Wife}

This week was full of pajamas, take-out, movies, and cuddles! After a jam-packed semester and with another one on the horizon, we were so grateful to have seven days of sweet nothing. Not surprisingly, it flew by, but we came away filled up and ready to greet the New Year with renewed vigor! Here is a little peak into our weak via my iPhone cam ūüėČ

Monday

Every night, Patrick and I sneak into Emery’s room long after she has fallen asleep, and this is the sight we see. Without fail, one of us looks at the other and says, “I love her!!” and the other replies, “Me too!!” And then we walk away, hearts exploding, high on love for our little family ‚̧ This is just one of the million little memories I never want to forget…


Tuesday

I got a Chromebook for Christmas from Patrick’s mom and step-dad. Yah, they’re amazing like that! I hung twinkly lights in our bedroom, and now working on my computer as I sit in our cozy bedroom is one of my new favorite past-times.¬†


Wednesday

We spent this day in our bedroom all. day. long. We cuddled, watched movies, played toys… and I took time to pray, reflect, write, and anticipate all that I am hoping 2016 has for this little family called ours. The thing that I came away most excited about was recognizing the reality that irregardless of what goes as I “hope” and what doesn’t, our amazing God is in control of it all! While it is fun to dream about things I would like to happen, its amazing to know that it is 100% guaranteed that HIS best for us WILL happen.


Thursday – New Year’s Eve

We spent New Year’s Eve at Candice and Travis’s house. Travis made a great spread of tasty eats, so we all enjoyed his super yummy nachos and watched college ball. It was a totally low-key evening, which was exactly what we wanted.¬†

Thank you, Facebook, for some timely New Years inspiration ūüėČ

My Panda Bear, Ai-Lin!

Grandma snuggles ‚̧

My view for the evening

We wrapped up the fun around 9 (yah… #parentlife). When we got back home we invited my dad over to watch a movie, but even that was over by 11:30. Patrick and I ushered in the New Year, just the two of us cuddled up on the couch, with a kiss at midnight as we watched the ball drop on TV. Not a bad way to welcome 2016… not bad at all.

Friday

Selfie’s in our cave ūüėČ

Jan 1 — 1/366

“My humble gear as I embark on a ‘photo a day’ challenge for 2016. I am hoping that by trying to find something worth photographing each day day I will be challenged to see beauty in places I would’ve missed otherwise.”

– Project 366 –¬†

For this year I will be taking and posting at least one picture on Instagram every day. This was the first in that series.

Saturday

All ready to go grocery shopping!

¬†That Christmas ornament was broken just minutes later… sorry, Grandma!

I could’t take my eyes off of this precious face as we snuggled up for a family nap!

In my opinion, chubby, dimpled, baby hands are one of the most precious sights on the planet.

Jan 2 – 2/366

“I took better quality pictures earlier in the day, but this iPhone pic was still the one I chose for ‘photo of the day’ because watching these two rest together was by far the sweetest moment for me. These are the kind of memories I want to hold onto forever: watching my sweet baby girl in a deep sleep, her chubby hands folded, her lip quivering every now and then. Perfectly safe between her daddy and me. Myself, behind the photograph, wanting to sleep but unable to drift off because I have this most perfect picture before me that is drawing me in and begging me to stare a little longer. So thankful for this week of rest sandwiched between busy seasons.”

2016 – The Year of Inspiration {The Moderate Wife}

New Years, the time of year when millions of people all across America resolve to do things that they will have forgotten about by February 1st! Just kidding… sort of ūüėČ Last year my one resolution was to not have any resolutions. There may have been some pregnancy hormones at play bringing out my rebellious, stick-it-to-conventional-practices side, but irregardless that’s what I said. While that was probably a realistic decision for where I was at at the time, I have to say that it wasn’t very gratifying to arrive at the end of the year and not be able to look back on how I’d done or see if I had met some specific goals. Unless of course, the goal was to survive, push out a baby sans-drugs, and soak up every single second I possibly could of that little girl’s miraculous existence. To which I can proudly say: #nailedit. Resolutions or not, I think I can safely say 2015 was a really good year! That said, I am now very inspired to jump back on the New Years resolutions bandwagon with passion and expectancy for all that is waiting for me in this upcoming year.
 
A daughter after my mother’s heart, I decided to write a “mission statement” to summarize my ultimate intention for this year, and I thought I would share it with you here, along with my resolutions:
 
In 2016, I want to be a faithful seeker and savorer of Jesus Christ. I will strive to find grace, wonder, and inspiration as I thoughtfully interact with the world and the people in it. I will purpose to make Jesus the center of all that I think, say, and do as I make the best use of the time He has given me. I will be intentional in my actions and present with my attention.
 
My Resolutions:
1. I will be physically active daily, outdoors (whenever possible), for at least 30 minutes.

2. I will take one photo a day.
 
3. I will read many books, thoughtfully.
  • At last one fiction and one non-fiction per month
  • Write a blog post about each one
 
4. I will blog and journal faithfully.
  • Minimum of 2x per week

 

For me, this year is about setting a direction and running after it. I don’t want to just do things. Rather, I want to do all that I can in a way that is intentional and inspiring. I want to take hold of the moments. I want to walk in the joy that comes from bringing Christ into all that I do. I am praying that 2016 is the year…

of long walks and talks with my Savior.

of learning to submerse myself in the grace I have been given in Christ.
of holding myself and others to a standard of grace rather than perfection.
of bringing majesty into the mundane through music, sermons, and audiobooks.
of learning to love what must be done.
of enjoying the artistry and beauty all around me that is a reflection of our creative Maker.
of proactively pursuing and creatively resting.
of inspiring others through my  journey to long for more of Jesus in their own lives.
Hopefully, as I seek after all that, at the end of the year I will be able to look back and see tangible ways that the Lord has grown me. I know that I‚Äôm going to fail often. I have an unshakeable idealism in my mind that is excellent for brainstorming and daydreaming about the future, but that makes reality a hard pill to swallow when the rubber meets the road. But I‚Äôm going to hold on to the hope that the Holy Spirit is working in me, and that He is the giver of godly desires. When my desires align with His will, His answer will always be, ‚ÄúYes.‚ÄĚ

 

What are you resolving to do in 2016? Whatever it may be, I pray that each of us prioritize faithfully seeking Christ with all of our hearts, minds, and souls above all else… and then trust Him with the results!
 
Love,
Amanda

12/20/15-12/26/15 {The Moderate Wife}

On Sunday, Patrick got to stand by his good friend Andrew as he married his best friend, the beautiful Simona. It was so festive to get to celebrate a wedding the week of Christmas!

I can’t believe these two belong to me! I am so blessed. They are the cutest daddy-daughter duo I’ve ever seen!

This year, some of the women on my mom’s side of the family decided to do an extended family secret Santa gift exchange! I had so much fun shopping for my great aunt, Julie. I am hoping this becomes an annual tradition, with even more family members joining in next year!

 She said she liked old things, so I hunted around a local antique store in Old Town and found this darling vintage enamel tea pot and scrabble piece ornament. 

Procrastinators united together in one very, very long line at the post office ūüėČ

Tuesday was Patrick’s 27th birthday! My gift to him was a date, just the two of us, to L.A. to do the Warner Bros. studio tour. They are currently hosting a¬†Batman¬†exhibit with all kinds of original props from every Batman movie ever made. Patrick was stoked to see all the bat suites and batmobiles, including those from his much anticipated Batman vs. Superman. I also had a fan girl moment seeing some of Gilmore Girls old sets! They were working on painting Luke’s Diner in preparation for the upcoming reunion series that will be filming and I literally got butterflies. The whole day was so much fun! We are in such a busy season as Patrick is on his final year of college before we leave for seminary, and it was so nice to get to just enjoy one another’s company.¬†

Waiting to go in! I love this guy so much

Looking where a scene from Jurassic Park was filmed

Our tour guide caught on pretty quickly that Patrick was a big Batman fan. So when we came into the batmobile room, she let him turn the bat signal on and off. Pretty cool! 

¬†Luke’s Diner!!

We finished Patrick’s birthday with sushi for dinner with some of his buddies, and then we walked around Bainbridge Circle and looked at all the beautiful Christmas lights. It was extra special for us because last year we saw the lights for the first time the same week we found out that I was pregnant with a girl. We had walked around dreaming about what life was going to be like with our Emery Paige and promised we would come back with her next year. We blinked, and next year was already here. We walked around with our sweet six month old girly until she fell asleep on my chest. Life with our little family is my favorite!

 My super adorable shopping buddy as we braved venturing out with the masses of last-minute Christmas shoppers on Christmas Eve-Eve. 

One of my favorite annual traditions is spending Christmas Eve with my family. We all come together to eat Grandma’s lefse, catch up on family news, sing carols and read the Christmas story all together, and open a ridiculous number of gifts. Some highlights of the evening were Emery opening her wonderful gifts as well as playing a fun game of Left-Right with the presents from my Uncle Joel and Aunt Dorene! We shared many laughs that evening ūüôā

Silly Uncle Gabe!

 Emmy Bear already loves her great grandma, Tutu!

 Merry Christmas Eve!

On Christmas Day we always go to my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law’s home. I feel so blessed to have a cherished second family in them! They love Emery to death and spoil her to pieces! She is beyond blessed to have her Grammy and Papa Coco.¬†

Our one smiley picture of the night!

Who cares about the presents inside? The paper is the really exciting, and not to mention tasty, stuff ūüėČ

After our crazy busy week, Emery was super tired by Christmas Day. She tolerated our attempts at capturing a picture, but she was less then enthusiastic about the whole thing. Really though, she was such a trooper! We had a lot going on for anyone, let alone a little six month old. Grammy and Papa Coco were super understanding, and even let her and I lay down for an afternoon nap in the middle of the festivities.

Once we got home, we finished off the night with our favorite thing – family snuggles in bed! After “nummies” and cuddling up in her pj’s, Emery was back to her happy self. I think she takes after her Daddy, who is a homebody as well ūüėČ

Finally, on Saturday we walked around Best Buy and Super Target looking at laptops, and then we spent the rest of the day snuggled up in our pj’s, watching¬†48 Hours Mysteries as a family. I think Emery was enjoying herself ūüėČ

Cuteness overload!

Love,

Amanda

Christmas Time is Here {The Moderate Wife}

December 1st! Twenty-four days until that most wonderful day of the year, Christmas. I don’t care how cliche it is to say – this season is undeniably my favorite one. The smells, songs, and sights leave me with a month-long smile in my heart. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true. For the Faus family it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Patrick loves the cold, and I love that the cold equals extra cuddles, so its win-win! We are so excited to celebrate our first Christmas together as a family of three, even if 6 month old Emery won’t really know how much fun she is having. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures to remind her later ūüėČ

I am seeking to really savor this special time as a month of¬†reflection and¬†preparation for the year ahead. For the third year in a row, I will be reading Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper.¬†The length of this little devotional belies its depth. Each day’s reading is centered around a scripture and it never fails to focus and excite me as it shepherds my heart to recall Jesus’s first coming to earth. Holy, infinite God, born as a baby. That reality alone is enough to make my mind explode! If you happen to be in search of something to help you meditate on Christ during this season, it can be downloaded as an ebook or Kindle book for free off of the¬†Desiring God¬†website.¬†

Despite being my favorite season, this time of year can also become one of the most stressful ones when I get caught up in trying to impress others through the gifts I give, the goodies I bake, or the decorations that dress-up my little home. While decorating, baking, and shopping are some of my favorite December past-times, when they become my focus I can become disheartened by all the areas where I find myself falling short of the Pinterest standard, and the warm feelings of yuletide joy that I get from holiday Hallmark movies are superficial at best. But when those same things are used as means to celebrate and accentuate the glorious reality of God’s redemptive plan for man, my heart is filled with a genuine joy and peace that surpasses all understanding. I am learning more and more each day how Christ’s past work affects the here and now of my life, and I am looking forward to sharing more about that with you later. For Christmas 2015 I am making a particular effort to choose simplicity, to love those in my sphere of influence, and to point others to our humble Savior as I remind my own heart first and foremost. I hope you are able to stop in the midst of all the busyness and savor Him with me. He is all-together worthy.

Merry Christmas,

Amanda

10/25/15-10/31/15 {The Moderate Wife}

Fun going to lunch with Daddy on Sunday! Emery is such a such a doll, so easy to take out with us for some special family time. Now that she has learned to play with her toys she is¬†happy to sit quietly and play while Mommy and Daddy talk. Patrick has¬†a lot on his plate with his school load right now as he enters into his last year of his Bachelor’s Degree program, so I was very grateful l to get some special time with him in the midst of all the busyness! I love the passion with which he is pursuing¬†all God has called him too. There’s no one I’d rather be on this crazy adventure called life with!

Sunday night I made homemade applesauce… it was amazing. I have sworn off of store bought! Homemade is so much richer, nutrient-dense, and downright delicious.¬†

Working my way through Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Because He Loves Me in my quiet times. SO good. If you haven’t read it, you should!

Everything is going into Emery’s mouth these days!

Just chillin’

Emery Paige began eating solids this week. I started her off on avocado and bananas, and she loved both! I can’t believe we are already to this stage. It’s unreal.

Goofing off while Mommy teaches TJ!

Saturday morning snuggles ‚̧

Happy girl! It’s Halloween!!!

Baby girl helping Mama with laundry

 

She was much more enthusiastic about her Halloween pictures in the morning as opposed to when we went out and went trick or treating with my siblings in the evening, but I promise she was having a good time all day long ūüėČ Notice our matching headbands? Straight #twinning.¬†


Xoxo,

Amanda

First Things First {The Moderate Wife}

Soon my blog posts will be current, focused on what we are doing and what the Lord is teaching me in the here and now. But for this first “real” post I want to share a bit about what has been going down the past few weeks that has gotten me to today. I wouldn’t be blogging if not for all that I have been learning as I have experienced my first encounter with the world of minimalism and intentional simplicity!¬†The Lord, in his grace, has been using that system to remind me about what it means to live with Heaven in mind. It all began just a few short weeks ago…

When I first began reading about minimalism in September I came across the Intentional Possessions¬†episode of The¬†Livin’ Lightly podcast. They took the old expression “time, talents, and treasures” and re-defined treasures to mean more than just money or possessions. Instead, they defined treasures as the things which we value most.¬†As I thought about it, for me it was clear: my stuff is not my treasure. I treasure people. I treasure experiences. I treasure creativity, in all its various God-glorifying expressions. Most of all, I treasure Christ. Money and possessions are just a means to the end of getting to have more experiences with the people I love, to reaching the lost, to being creative, and to serving and spending time with Jesus. I began to evaluate my home based on this question: how are my possessions serving my treasures, protecting my time, and allowing me to pursue my talents? In all reality, many of my things were hindering what I valued most. I would be distracted in my time in the Lord by all the clutter and piles of papers in the kitchen, and that was when the kitchen was “clean”. Cleaning my little two bedroom apartment couldn’t even be done in an entire Saturday. I was wasting ridiculous amounts of time reordering the excess in my life, or as some would say, “organizing”. That physical clutter translated clearly into mental and emotional clutter that was hindering me from enjoying people. Now, to be honest, my home wasn’t always terrible. I could have people over. I wasn’t a hoarder. Sure, sometimes I had to throw a towel over the giant pile of dirty dishes in my sink when a surprise guest showed up. Maybe my bedroom had become a cast-all in the name of keeping the living room presentable. But hey, nobody’s perfect. I was just keepin’ it real! I honestly didn’t even realize how bad it had gotten. As I took my first step on the path towards simplicity I had no idea how much getting rid of a car-full of stuff would have a ripple effect on the rest of my life.¬†

                                                                                                      

Getting rid of my things proved far easier than I anticipated. It was extremely addictive! The first space I cleared was my kitchen counter. It was the only space that I took before pictures of, and I wish I had taken more, but these give you a clear idea of what I was dealing with. It took me barely an hour, and my to-go pile was started. The effect that that one small counter had on me was astounding. The basket sitting there with the stack of papers had been a constant source of anxiety to me as it grew, and grew, and grew. Once it was gone, I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. It was as if I had been holding my breath and didn’t even know it! I put that basket in the to-go pile so that I wouldn’t have to confront that kind of clutter again. Because we had a lot going on, that was the only space I got to for that first week. But it didn’t matter. I was totally hooked. Any second I could find I was listening to podcasts like Simple Life Together¬†and¬†reading articles by¬†The Minimalists*, Beginner Beans, and¬†Becoming Minimalist¬†to name a few.¬†Finally, a week later I had the time while I was home to finally start hitting each room, cupboard by cupboard, space by space. I fell in love with the minimalism motto: only keep objects that serve a purpose or bring you joy.¬†

Now everything in my kitchen is an intentional possession. It either makes me happy or serves a purpose!

Once I began evaluating each item based on this criteria I was surprised to see how many thing I had just for the sake of having. I’m referring to the fondue pot I used three times in the four and a half years we’ve been married. The vase that has been sitting on my counter for two years despite the fact that it’s color and style didn’t jive with the rest of my decor or even what I wanted my decor to be. The three bags of clothes stuffed in my closet for when I’d lose weight or the weather would change. Because, if and when I lose weight, I’m going to want to wear that three year old shirt, right? And because the weather in Southern California is so severe and frequently changing! Oh wait… As my to-go pile grew and I dug things out of hidden (and some not so hidden) corners of the house I was convicted as the Lord reminded me of His words, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.¬†But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 16:19-21). I was always hesitant to get rid of things¬†because of the great “what if?” But God is faithful and revealed this lack of trusting in my heart, and I kept on adding more stuff to the pile.¬†When it was all said and done I had hit all the major areas of my house and had an entire van filled, floor to ceiling, with things that weren’t necessarily bad, but were hindering me from spending my time doing what I know God has called me to.¬†

Now, my home won’t be getting published in a minimalist magazine! It is not¬†anywhere close to the true definition of minimalism. Realistically, with one daughter and more kiddos eventually on the way, I don’t foresee that being a reality for us anytime soon. More importantly, at the end of the day it has never been about the stuff. It is about being intentional with every aspect of my life, questioning each part to determine if it is in line with the responsibilities God has entrusted to me. My Lord and Master is returning soon (Matthew 25:14-30), and the desire of my heart is to be faithful to Him until that day. The same principles that lead me to simplify¬†my physical life lead to me evaluate my time, systems, goals, and pursuits and in doing so gave me greater direction in what kind of wife, mom, and woman I want to become. At some point I will put together a post on the specifics of how minimalism helped me evaluate those areas. But until next time, thank you for following along with me as I pursue simplicity, moderation, and grace in all things!

Love Always, 

            Amanda

*The writers of this blog occasionally use curse words in their posts, so if this would be a stumbling block for you then I’d encourage you to move on to the other two blogs I mentioned. If it isn’t, they do have a lot of very helpful tools, such as their¬†21 Days to Minimalism¬†series.

And So It Begins {The Moderate Wife}

First blog post! I am so excited to be writing here. I have been thinking and praying over whether or not I was going to begin writing on my own piece of cyberspace for almost two months. Last year I had a photography blog, but at the end of the day I felt that that was too limiting since photography is only one small piece of my life. So, instead, this new little blog will have it all! Family updates, essays, photography, resource reviews, favorite recipes, and whatever else pops into this scatterbrain of mine! My hope is that anyone who comes across what I write will come away encouraged to seek an authentic life in Christ with all the pleasures that come from knowing Him. 
I am calling this blog “The Moderate Wife” because that is who I am striving to become. Balanced, simple, and temperate. Someone who seeks to do every good thing in moderation. Almost daily my husband lovingly teases me for being his all or nothing girl. I am a zero or sixty, black and white kind of gal by nature. I am an extreme dieter/exerciseholic (usually for two weeks at a time) or a couch potato pizza lover (usually for two months at a time).¬†I’m either binge-listening to worship music, sermons and podcasts or its Tay Tay Swifty all. day. long.¬†¬†Until very recently, my home cleaning “system” was to wait until it became a national disaster, go¬†crazy doing emergency cleaning for a couple days until it looked picture perfect, and then rinse and repeat. As you can see, I have some growing to do. I am 100% in-process and thankful that¬†God isn’t finished with me yet! He has¬†had me on an refreshing journey during the past couple months as He, through numerous sources, has been teaching me the benefits of¬†simplicity, faithfulness in the small tasks, and seeking¬†to be orderly so that I can be fully present wherever I am. I invite you to come along for a bumpy ride as I seek…
to enjoy the abundant blessings in this beautiful world we live in without idolizing them.
to have self-control and discipline in my God-given tasks without missing out on godly pleasures in the process.
to know when to sit still and soak in and when to run hard and pursue goals.
In Love and Grace,
Amanda