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Updated: May 15, 2021

Giving thanks for - God, who knows what is best for me and always has that in mind when he orchestrates events in my life.

Outside my window - We’ve lived in this house for nearly 19 years. In the course of those years, so much life happened right before our very eyes. Our own children grew up and added grandchildren to our delight. The backyard has even been the safe haven for wildlife giving life :-) We’ve had bunnies make nests in our raised beds and with an agreement between the bunny parents and us we left them there in a safe and lovely spot. In return they didn’t eat their immediate surroundings - leaving our vegetables intact. It was such a bittersweet morning when I witnessed those tiny little bunny babies leave their nest and run across the yard into the big wide world. A little piece of my heart went with them.

Most people would be appalled by the fact that every single year, starlings make their nest in the vent of our kitchen stove - and we let them. Well, technically that’s only half true. We did hire a son-in-law to climb the ladder one year to clean the vent out and put a wire guard to prevent future residents. But the job was only half done and the guard was never put in place. So the following year, we once again hosted a new family of starlings. It’s probably mostly laziness that keeps us from climbing a ladder and dealing with the remnants and placing a guard, but it’s become something of a tradition now to hear the baby birds squawking for their food. There are far more important things that need our attention.

The underside of our deck also is seemingly a habitat for bird of all sorts nesting. But the most recent is probably the most interesting. My husband left the grill cover on the deck a few weeks ago and overnight mourning doves, aka pigeons, had built a nest and laid eggs. They knew who they were dealing with… Neither my husband nor myself would ever be wiling to destroy or damage such a thing. And so, we watched and waited as the craziest 2021 midwest weather brought sunshine, rain, wind, and SNOW in late April and May. Finally, the eggs hatched and lo and behold there were two baby mourning doves tucked safely under those wings. I don’t think the parents are aware of this fact but the surface of our deck is probably not the best place to have a nest! It’s busy with foot traffic and totally accessible to other four legged wildlife. So we are keeping a watchful eye over them as they grow and boy do they mature quickly! We can only hope they will be gone and safe from predators by the time we leave for vacation.

So life - life is what’s happening outside my window.

Clothing myself in - that favorite lightweight black cardigan that keeps trying to get away from me. LOL Capris and tennis shoes ready to hit the walking path in a short while.

Home front - I managed a de-cluttering campaign last week and hope to get to a few other areas before the end of the month. I was feeling overwhelmed with clutter again, thinking that it is hopeless because it always gathers back up, but once I really started the process I realized there wasn’t that much and the effort from the past years is really paying off! For those living with semi-hoarders, I highly recommend renting an offsite storage unit. I know that is contrary to most of the simple living philosophy, but if you’re like me and live and love someone who just can’t let go of some things but they are willing to have you store them safely somewhere out of the house, it’s the best investment I’ve made in a long time. Maybe a conversation about that topic would be good to approach in a future post…

On the menu - I still don’t have a menu! What is wrong with me? :-) But I do know what is on the menu for the next few days at least. Dear husband’s birthday is this weekend. I’ll make his favorite for his birthday on Sunday and that would be spaghetti and meatballs. But the family is gathering to celebrate on Saturday and that will be a big ole taco bar!

Writing - Morning pages are happening regularly, but other than that not much. I took a little break from some of it so that I could focus on the extra work that needed to be done in the house and yard. I miss our mastermind group and I’m not sure that it will be resuming soon. I miss it so much. I also haven’t touched base with some of my writing groups in a while. I hope to do that soon.

Learning - More about flowers this year. Herbs have always been my first love when it comes to gardening, but my desire to do some landscaping around our home is spurring more observations about other options.

Watching - Jack Ryan

Making - Space

A continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied."

Space to breath, live, love, and be.

Loving the moments - I picked up the photo book my kids made for me for Christmas (or was it my birthday?) and read through it again. I hadn’t look at it in a while. Their stories are priceless and I am so thankful they took the time to put it together for me. Love my kids.

Planning for the week ahead - what’s planning? Why bother? I’m not in control so why worry about it? I suppose there is some level of planning to be done, but learning to hold things loosely is my current gig.

Naming what matters - In my process for decluttering I asked myself this question: “What is it that you WANT to be doing in the coming season? What do you actually see yourself enjoying enough to spend your valuable time doing?” My answers came fairly easily. Besides the obvious faith, family, and friends the answer more specifically is cooking good meals to share, gardening, walking and nature, writing, and quilting. That doesn’t mean other things are not good and worth doing, it means that I don’t have to hold on to supplies or equipment for things that don’t fall within the parameters of those top priorities. I get to choose my best yes. If I decide at some point to do a Christmas craft with my grandchildren, I can borrow things or buy smaller amounts that will be fully used up. There are just so many “interests” that I have collected stuff for over the years that do not serve me in any way other than to take up space in our home. They needed to go to make room for what matters, and so they did. And I have no regret, which leads me to…

Words worth sharing - My kindred spirit shared words with me during our last chat over coffee that stuck with me and helped me make what seemed like hard decisions, until they weren’t. “I’d rather live with a little regret than with a lot of clutter.” I may have changed the wording just a bit but the essence of the words really helped me. I may, at some point in the future, regret getting rid of some of the things I donated or threw away, but I definitely will not regret simplifying our space and reducing the amount of time and energy it takes me to manage all the things. That’s a game changer for me folks.

Something to remember - It’s not about me. Although God loves me and wants what is best for me, his real instruction for me (and all of us) is to make disciples. Am I doing that? Have I done that? How can I move forward and do that? I will be thinking on this more.

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