*You guys! This Israeli Couscous salad is going to become your go-to for the summer (and all year long!) and I will give you the recipe I promise, but there’s a little something I want to share with you first!*
Little House on the Prairie came on everyday at 4pm at my house when I was a little girl. And my dad got home from work at around 5pm. Now, we three ladies of the house (me, my mom and my sister) were glued to the television for that one hour each day. This meant, that as the last credits began to roll, my mom would call out to us, “Girls, hurry and set the table so Daddy will think that dinner is going to be ready sooner than it will actually be ready!” My goal was always to do it so quickly that I would make it back in time to see that very final scene in every episode where Carrie trips and falls as they are running downhill through the field towards Ma and Pa who were waiting in the wagon with grins on their faces.
To this day, I can barely get through an episode of Little House without crying. There is so much truth and wisdom and heart. And in our current cultural climate I find myself craving this.
Happy Friday friends! We are so thrilled to have Kristin Funstun here with us today! She is an incredible writer and speaker and she’s bringing us some really beautiful words of encouragement that will resonate with all of us on one level or another.
So help us welcome Kristin to the picket fence!
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)
Yes. This. Everything about the above verse makes me want to type in all the praise hand emojis. Because quiet, alone, unseen, rewards, secret … all these words tug at my busy-mom-of-three emotions.
Friends, I need to confess to you, I hit the publish button on this post with great hesitation and may or may not have closed my eyes while I did it. Why, you ask? Well, when I originally asked for opinions about whether or not to add pillows to my new bedroom settee I had NO idea how many of you would weigh in.
And, for the most part, everyone was really lovely and gracious. Truly, I’m so very grateful for this community here and never want to seem like I’m complaining.
But, I’m human.
And, I’ll admit that it stings a bit when I’ve asked for opinions on one specific part of a room but find that I’m getting opinions about many other things in the room that people think need to be changed. Or being told that my decision to even have this settee at the foot of the bed was the wrong one.
Happy Friday sweet friends! We are so thrilled to have our friend Jennifer Watson with us today sharing from her heart something that we know we can all relate to. Please help us welcome her to the picket fence!
I had shreds of memories swirling and used Kleenex’s in my lap as I sat in a counselor’s office. It was wintertime and felt myself sinking again. Some call it seasonal depression. Some call it going through hell and back a few times. Either way, it’s pretty brutal.
You’ll have to forgive me as I wax sentimental today. You see, my baby girl celebrated her tenth birthday over the weekend and I’m just in total denial that we no longer have any children in the single digit age. Time needs to just.slow.down already!
We spent a super fun day together on Saturday doing some great mother/daughter bonding stuff like shopping, having lunch at our favorite little cafe followed by cupcakes from the cutest cupcake store on the planet. Oh and she also got her ears pierced!!
Happy Friday sweet friends! We are so thrilled to have our friend Morgan from Morganize with Me here with us today sharing with us some wonderful insights about how much our attitudes towards being organized impacts our homes and families. So help us now to welcome Morgan!
I am honored to be here today, sharing from my heart. Thank you ladies!
As a semi-type A, first-born, and very detail oriented person, I regularly get the sense that others think I have every single part of my home flowing along in perfect harmony. That my life is meticulously organized and free of chaos. Um, no.
Organization requires many parts working together, and I don’t know about you, but in my home we’re all usually going in too many different, and often opposing, directions.
Sure, some days we are all clicking along, but MOST days not so much.
Good morning friends, and thank you for meeting me (Julie) here today, At the Picket Fence. In case you didn’t know, I am a monthly contributor here for Vanessa & Heather and I am very honored to be a part of their team. If you are interested in following my blog where I am busy decorating & cooking in Michigan, you can follow along here —-> Redhead Can Decorate. Since we are in the middle of Summer, I thought today might be the perfect time to share my Mom’s homemade “Sun Tea Recipe” and story with you. I hope you are thirsty.
Last weekend I watched my daughter run at full speed and jump off of a dock into a lake. Over and over again.
I watched my son figure out how to turn a kayak into a paddle board and catch the biggest fish of his life.
I watched younger kiddos splash and play while I got to have meaningful conversations with their mamas.
I watched the sheer joy on faces after biting into a s’more filled with their version of the perfectly roasted marshmallow (Do you like yours golden or burned? There was great debate over this!)
I watched as my husband quietly served our community and displayed the very heart of leadership.
I watched beautiful sunsets where the light hit the water in such a way that it looked like the entire lake was covered in glistening diamonds.
And I watched it all while my phone sat in my purse in our tent.
I watched it all without the option to post it on Facebook even if I wanted to since there was no wifi.
I just watched it. Savored it. Allowed it to create an imprint on my mind and my spirit that will last much longer than any update on social media.
And I realized that my soul was being filled with something I don’t think I even fully realized it needed.
It needed to be both disconnected and connected at the same time.
Disconnected from the online world and connected to the REAL world.
Now, let me be clear, I’m not someone who is totally addicted to screens. But, my job requires me to be connected to them. I stare at a screen as I write our second book. I stare at a screen as I write blog posts. I stare at a screen as I share on social media and as I lead our online book club.
So, since the screens in my life can’t really go away from me, I have to go away from them.
And there was something so glorious, so much more ‘normal’ about just sitting at the end of the dock with the love of my life as we watched our children kayak around the lake and not feeling any desire to commemorate the moment by putting it on Instagram.
Sometimes I think we fall into the trap of thinking that if we don’t share our activities with the world then it’s like they aren’t really real, or that they didn’t actually happen.
But, the truth is that the most real-ness we can experience is simply being fully in the moment. Taking a mental photograph and tucking it away in your memories, knowing you can pull it out at any time, not just when Facebook decides you need to be reminded of it.
Our time at the lake provided me with such a glorious escape that when we arrived back home, I almost didn’t know how to re-enter the online world. And I kinda didn’t want to.
There were so many life-giving, soul-buffering, heart-filling moments that I needed a bit of time to process it all before I could bring myself to stare at a screen again.
I realized that I need to stop feeling guilty for stepping away from it all (blogging, writing, social media-ing) from time to time. I realized that without the time at the lake last weekend, I may have sunk further into the weariness my spirit has been feeling lately.
I’ve determined that maybe we all need to get back to that time when we didn’t feel like we had to tell everyone every single thing we did during every single moment of the day. That there is something sweet and sacred about knowing that only those girls who floated on the rafts with me in the middle of the lake will remember the hilarity of that moment because no one took any photos and no one posted about it on social media. We are forever bonded together by that experience and we don’t need to prove it by sharing it with everyone.
The lessons I learned last weekend at the lake are ones I’m going to hold as closely to my heart as the memories that were made.
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou
Thank you so much for meeting me at the fence today dear friends,
P.S. The photos included in this post are stock photos. See! I really didn’t get any pictures of our time at the lake! 😉