Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real, Exhausting: Working the Plan

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Sometimes I feel silly working on yet another plan, another schedule, even if it’s not one where I’m scheduling every half hour of everyone’s day. But, I keep coming back to it. I mentioned my feeling silly about it to my husband, who shrugged, “I thought it was your hobby.” Well, yes, actually, it is. And, generally, I think it’s been a hobby that has benefited myself and my family. But whether or not it benefits myself and my family … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Good Days & Bad – Simply Convivial

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This summer I read John Owen’s Mortification of Sin. I enjoyed the delve into older, denser English. There were several places where at first I was a little taken aback at his line of argument, but after continuing on and thinking about it, I realized it was more that he was not saying things the way that such things would now be said than that he was actually saying something I disagreed with. I experienced firsthand (again) C.S. Lewis’ opinion … Read More

What Makes a Productive Day? – Simply Convivial

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So, last week felt like a rough, terrible week. However, the school checklists got done, the house hadn’t really fallen apart, and we’d had no major disasters. Really, it was a typical week. Why did it feel so bad? This week has felt pretty good. Even though I am definitely not getting to everything I think should be (like exercising), still most of the school was done and the house hasn’t fallen apart. In fact, if you compared the two … Read More

Life is a Story: Tell God’s Story Rather Than Your Own – Simply Convivial

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We must submit to the master narrative rather than trying to tell our own hero tales. You are not the hero. I am not the hero. Christ is the Hero. This means we must be familiar with God’s Story, which happens by rereading and rereading and rereading the Bible all our lives. Life is God’s story; therefore, do not complain under hard providences. The testing of your faith develops steadfastness. Let steadfastness have its full effect. No story line happens … Read More

Growing Pains – Simply Convivial

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This is the first installment of what I hope to be a regular Monday feature: A Metaphor for Monday. Each Monday during our weekly meeting, I will be pep-talking my boys with a metaphor with which to tackle the week. I will be recycling the material here, and I hope by that to make it helpful not only to others, but to myself as well. You’ve had a full day and you finally lay down to rest. Suddenly, your legs … Read More

Project Simplify: Piles – Simply Convivial

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This week’s theme is piles, and I have so many it’s just not even funny. Most of them didn’t take that long to tackle once I put my mind to it. It’s not hard or time-consuming, but it’s a task that is easy to procrastinate. These aren’t even all my piles, but these are the ones I was able to address Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Before & After: Hearth Room Bookshelf The location of this bookshelf makes it a prime … Read More

From the Archives: Stand & Resist – Simply Convivial

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I was going through some old papers today and found a printed copy of this post I made a few years ago. I thought I’d repost it here, with a few minor editing tweaks. At a recent church bridal shower, a lovely older lady gave a devotional that stuck with me. She read Ephesians 6:10-18. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able … Read More

Home Organization Book Review: Large Family Logistics – Simply Convivial

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Not only was last week a school break week, but we also had and have a string of hosting commitments that gave me the added commitment and deadline to get the house into a little better shape. Of course I had an unreasonably long list, but if I think about what I did get done instead of what I didn’t get done, I am quite pleased. So, with a couple social hostings down and a few next weekend as well, … Read More

Choosing Conviviality or Perpetuating a Pity Party?

Is happiness an emotion reserved for those who have an easy life? Right now I have a child who thinks happiness is a life without math fact drill pages. And, he’s onto something that misery is dragging one’s feet and taking three hours to do what should take one three minutes. However, cause and effect might be different than his perception. The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but liking what one has to do. — … Read More

How Housework is Similar to Music & Sports – Simply Convivial

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Awhile back I was listening to NPR in the car, and they were speaking to a musician and athlete. I can’t find the segment and I don’t remember exactly what she said, but she was talking about the willingness to accept the drudgery of deliberate, painful, boring practice being an essential element to sucess in both music and sports. To be good at something, you have to work at it even when it is not fun or interesting or exciting. … Read More

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