Beatrix Potter Nursery Inspiration

Baby Room Ideas for the New Mommy at AuthenticVIrtue.com

I love dreaming up ideas for our little one’s bedroom. I love making our house a home and creating a peaceful, welcoming space — it’s a creative outlet I’m addicted too. I just can’t help myself! 😉

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Three Ways I’m (Trying) to Bloom Where I’m Planted

AuthenticVirtue.com

Around here we believe in blooming beautifully in the place God has set you.

And whether you’re a college student barely shuffling her way to class (or celebrating summer break?), a young mom needing her coffee every morning, or a sixty-something soul dealing with family sickness we all need the reminder that this season of life you’re in? It’s perfect for producing beauty and great things.

Currently, my season involves the slow, methodical workings of keeping home, loving and serving my Beloved, and preparing for our little one to arrive in December. Eventually, I’ll need to begin planning lesson plans for school in August but until then I’ve got a summer which is as slow as a hot, July breeze.

But I don’t want that to keep me from growing. Here are my three, favorite ways of (trying) to blossom where I’m planted.

Rejoice in every day

Blooming in the season God has given you is as simple as rejoicing in the day He made. Every so often I find myself in a funk, a drink coffee all day, do nothing but watch Netflix and struggle with getting dinner prepared on time.

And while there’s nothing wrong with relaxation and Netflix binges, being in a funk keeps us from growing where we’re planted.

Stop the funk by choosing to rejoice in your Lord and the day He has made. Celebrate the day he made and rejoice in His love and presence. Pursue a grateful heart and enjoy blossoming in the meantime.

Set goals

Setting goals for ourselves is vital to our growing and blossoming in life. Goals don’t have to big or impressive, they just have to be attainable. What do you want your summer to involve? Write down your hopes, dreams and to-do’s and get excited about them!

Some of my goals include eating nutritious, yummy meals for baby, enjoy my sister’s coming into town, blog frequently, exercise weekly, and take advantage of Jefferson City’s beautiful downtown.

Try something new … often

I’d love to say that I learn and try something new every day but that would overload my little, goal-driven heart and lead to discouragement. So instead, I’m aiming to try something new every week this summer.

When we adventure into the unknown and challenge ourselves to do life differently we blossom. Suddenly, there’s a little more gumption in our spirit tied in with an adorable I can do this grin. (You look cute, I promise.) 😉

It’s as easy as cooking a new recipe, learning about cloth diapering, taking up jogging or attending a new church for the first time. We blossom when we keep growing. 

How do you bloom where your planted? Are there any steps you take to avoid falling in a funk? Share below in the comments! 

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

You’re Not Called to be Superwoman // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

It’s a curse, wanting to do and be everything. Whether it’s the world telling you you need to do more or your own personal chase for perfection, we often feel that to be successful, thriving people we need to be superwomen.

It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and false.

I have my own personal issues with wanting to do and be everything. I want to be the perfect wife and in my mind that means dinner must be on time, the house cleaned daily, bills balanced and paid, etc. I need to do in order to be.  

The funny thing is that my husband rates the perfect wife differently. Yes, he loves having dinner warm and ready and he enjoys coming to a home clean, fresh and calm.

But he doesn’t think my getting things done is what makes me his perfect wife.

It’s when I greet him at the door with a smile, pay attention to his jokes, and take time to laugh with him. He says I’m the perfect wife because he says I’m his best friend. And I’m his best friend because I take time for him, choose him, and pursue him. He’ll wear the dirty pants I forgot to wash, and do it with an understanding smile and wink. It’s when I get angry and pout over unwashed laundry and put distance between us that he struggles.

You see, it’s all about abiding instead of doing.

Jesus Christ loved to emphasize that. Yes, we need to do good works. Yes, our lives should declare our relationship with Christ through good fruit.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Coffee Series

But we don’t do that by checking off to-do lists and endeavoring to be women we’re not. We do that by abiding, resting, acknowledging that there is no good in us and anything we can do good is a gift form our good Father. It’s evidence of Him in us.

I know abiding can be hard. That’s why we need each other — let’s pray, encourage, and lift each other up as we journey together at being better at abiding. With Christ we are more than conquerors … of perfectionism and the nagging fear that we’ll never be good enough. 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Easy, Every Day Ways to Create a Peaceful Atmosphere in Your Space

AuthenticVirtue.com // 5 Ways to Pursue Peace in Your Home

We live in such a busy, heart-bruising world it’s easy to mistake busyness for prosperity and chaos for peace. I know from experience that an atmosphere of peace in our homes and spaces does not happen by accident.

The last two weeks have kicked my butt in more ways than one. I spent a week out-of-town, deep cleaning seven smallish houses with a friend. My Darling Man made sure I had a few quiet, rest-filled days before I jumped back into my school schedule (which was so sweet!) but no sooner was I  physically rested than an emotional storm hit. We had to make some tough, life-impacting decisions which left me crying for 2+ days and bruised my heart deeply.

Needless to say, a peaceful atmosphere has been a challenge.

As Christian women, we have the amazing opportunity to live life in a way that we *reek* peace. The beautiful thing is that living peaceful lives looks different for every home and person; but, there are key things we can do to ensure our homes are less chaotic and more enjoyable. It just takes a little practice.

Here are five ways I’m pursuing peace in our space.

AuthenticVirtue.com Decluttering is key to emotional and physical peace. The great thing about decluttering is that it can be done right here, right now. Don’t know where to start? Wash the breakfast dishes. Put away the cereal box. File those random papers on your desk. Call the next person on your list. When life feels crazy look around you — is there something you can donate or giveaway? Throwaway? When we declutter we begin to feel sane … even in the midst of the storm.

Pressing play on my favorite Christian radio or Pandora station is one of the first ways I transform our home from crazy to calm. Early in the morning while I cook breakfast and Dalton gets ready for work we’ll often turn on our favorite worship music. Almost immediately my soul is blessed and my spirit is lifted (even if I’m washing last night’s dishes!). 😉 Press play to whatever lifts and encourages your heart and your one step closer to a peace-filled space.

Writing a to-do list is activity I must do when life overwhelms and our home feels out of control. Earlier this week I struggled to fall asleep, so, I rose from bed and wrote a schedule and to-do list for the remaining weeks of school. Ah … having goals, to-do’s and responsibilities handwritten and hanging from my fridge immediately gave me a sense of rest and control. I may not get everything on my to-do list done and that’s okay. It’s not about letting my list control my life but my using self-control and completing what I need to get done.

Saying no to unnecessary activities and requests is super important when creating a peace-filled home. Some days you can take the kids to the pool, carpool with other mommies, schedule a lunch date, babysit your neighbor’s cat, blog, fold laundry, paint the shutters, and lead a Bible study all in one week.

But then there are days when you need to say no. Our homes and spaces are our first priorities and if random, miscellaneous activities are spoiling the atmosphere you desire then it’s okay to say no for a while. 🙂

Choosing peace is, ultimately, the most important thing we get to do. As Christians we are promised peace — even when the world is ripping apart and destroying all that we love. The first part of this week involved me bawling my eyes out but during the hard things I knew peace. Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

We can write schedules, say no to miscellaneous activities, declutter our spaces and listen to encouraging music but if we forget to choose and pursue a heart of peace our homes will continue reeking of a chaotic atmosphere. I know because I’ve been there.

Choosing to believe “… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” is the most important and effective way to create a peace-filled space.

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How do you pursue peace in your space? Is there one thing you love doing that helps bring calm from the chaos? Tell us about your peace-keeping powers! We’d love to know! 🙂 

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Morning Routines For the Morning-Challenged

An easy how-to for having a sucessful, productive day by a morning-challenged gal! Mmmm … morning routines. The earliest hours of day are filled with surprises — from the bursts of sunlight to the first notes sung by birds — this time is by far my most favorite of the day.

I haven’t always been an early-bird. I’ve had my fair share of sleeping in till noon. But marrying an (extreme, haha!) early-riser has helped me love waking earlier than most and starting the day before the sun.

The funny thing is that having a good morning doesn’t happen on accident. I’ve found that having established, purposeful routines are necessary for starting out the day successfully. And starting a day well usually leads to finishing well. Here are four tips I’ve found helpful in creating relaxing, productive and awesomely successful mornings.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Start the night before[/pullquote]

Having a successful, pleasant morning doesn’t happen without a little planning. (And this is coming from a girl who knows!) I’ve been known to jump into bed leaving the sink full of greasy dishes and the living room in disarray. Waking up was a chore because I had neglected my chores. No one wants to see ugly, disorganization first thing in the morning (and no one wants to fish out the stinky, soggy washrag stewing in yesterday’s dishwater — yuck!).

Prepare for your successful morning by spending 15 minutes tidying your home the night before. Load the dishes into the dishwater and push start, fluff the living room pillows, put away dvds and clear the miscellaneous coffee cups which multiply like rabbits. You’re sleep will be sweeter with the knowledge that you ended the day productively and your morning will be a lot more fun to wake up to.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Establish a routine[/pullquote]

Routines help humans excel at life. We work, play, relax and learn best when we know what to expect so why would we allow our mornings to be vague, chaotic surprises when it’s easy and awesome-feeling to have set habits and routines?

The beautiful thing is that everyone’s morning routine should look different. We’re all unique with different family sizes and situations so setting ourselves free from the pressure to copy others habits, expectations and routines is necessary for our personal productivity and success.

For me, I start my day by making a cup of coffee, kissing my husband (whose already been up for 2+ hours) and snuggling in the recliner for 15 minutes. Then, after I’ve had a sip or two of black goodness, I move to the kitchen and put away the dried dishes and start breakfast. I follow this routine every day including weekends.

Crazy confession: we eat the same thing every morning except for Sunday. Normally there are two options, oatmeal and eggs or oatmeal and a protein shake. And before you pity me and send me coupons let me say that there is an abundance of flexibility in keeping to routine in your meals. 😀 Oatmeal can be made traditionally with a variety of toppings (brown sugar, honey, berries, milk, cinnamon, chocolate chips, etc.) or in a parfait fashion with fruit and yogurt. And of course eggs can be cooked in countless ways (scrambled, fried, omelet, or muffin style). Having a few, select choices for breakfast make mornings easier on everyone (kids included).

Establishing a morning routine that works for you is an awesome way to make your mornings more fun and successful.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Take time to drink your coffee … and listen to something uplifting [/pullquote]

It’s so simple. I used to believe that being a good keeper of my home meant waking before dawn and jumping right into daily chores. False. Every thing in creation requires a few moments to warm up. Birds fluff feathers, cats stretch and dogs yawn. Even machines require warm-up time. Why should we be any different?

Friend, etch out time in your morning to simply be. Pour yourself something yummy and find a place to watch the sunrise. Rest. Relax. Pray. Listen to worship music. There’s nothing lazy about taking a few minutes to yourself. Mommies, you can even teach your little ones to play quietly in their crib for 15 minutes after they wake.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Do the next thing[/pullquote]

You’ve woken up to home sweet and tidied from the night before, began the day with your established routines and taken a few minutes to drink your coffee and enjoy quiet. What now?

Simple, do the next thing. Quite easy, really. 🙂 I’m sure many of you practical folk are laughing at me but I cannot tell you how easy it is for me to get distracted and put off what’s needed. (Too easy.) 😉

Do what works for you. Write a to-do list. Set a timer on your phone. For me, I write a list and work my way though. Normally, I start with Bible reading then move on to the daily cleaning which involves dishes, sweeping and vacuuming, wiping down the bathroom and dinner prep. By the time I’ve finished I’m free to move onto “fun projects.” Crafting, blogging, reading, Netflix, baking and miscellaneous house projects. 🙂 Is there anything better than having the freedom to do what you love? And all because you had a successful morning!

Good Monring Freebie Printable with AuthenticVirtue.com

For additional, therapeutic support enjoy this free, 8×10 printable I made. (I know, right? Frannie made a printable? Get ready world … she’s advancing and who’s to stop her!) 😉 Follow this link to download this darling print — print it out and stick it to the fridge for morning inspiration. You can make your mornings and days productive, friend. Believe it and put that belief into practice and you’re half way to making mornings fun and blessed.

What does your morning routine look like? Are you an early-bird or are you morning-challenged? Do you have any funny stories about groggy mornings?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie