Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Hidden Arts": Review & 1% Changes

Back in mid-May, I was inspired by Naptime Diaries to purchase the book "The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life" by Edith Schaeffer.  I blogged a bit about this book in a couple posts this month.  I discussed Schaeffer's idea of God as Artist and later about finding your "hidden art".  The book was written in 1971, so in some ways it seems a bit out of date or old-fashioned.  I'll tell you, though, it has a lot of very practical suggestions for today!

In a nutshell, the book describes various areas of "art" through which we, as Christians, can express ourselves and create an environment through which we interact with other people in a manner representative of our status as a Christian; that we are made in His image; God is the ultimate Creator and our creativity should be a reflection of the wonderful gifts he has given us.  We can use our gifts to improve our relationships and our family life.  The chapters that really spoke to me were the ones on interior decoration (boy do I need to dig deep on that one, but it is an interest I have!), food, writing, and, ultimately, environment.

These are the things that I really want to invest in.  These are the things that go hand in hand with the concept of making 1% Changes.

I think this book has a message for any woman who is longing to find herself and express herself.  It's for any woman who wonders what she could be doing to improve the quality of her family life, an area in which many families are sorely lacking in these days.  It is for any woman who wonders how she can use her God-given gifts to give back to others or to God Himself.  I think the key is to tap into at least one of the areas illustrated in the book and to just begin!  That's how a 1% Change starts.  You just start.  A little bit at a time.  Add more to it day by day or week by week so that your 1% becomes a 20% or 50% or even 100% change!  I am really grateful to Jessi at Naptime Diaries for sharing this concept on her blog and for recommending this book.

I will admit...I am oh so far from perfect or fully committed in my far.  I am trying.  Life gets in the way sometimes though.  I guess that's ok.  I just need to focus more time and energy into these little changes so they will become a habit and a really positive life-change for me and my family.  I want to have more time for this:

I LOVE reading, but I don't have (or make) the time now like I used to.

Too many distractions keep me from enjoying the simply hobby of reading for pleasure.  My "library" is a little more extensive than what you see here, and my "series" are so totally not up to date.  Maybe if I could get myself together, implement my changes, and stick to them, I'd have more free time.

But as I said, life just gets in the way.  Laundry piles up and takes on a life of its own.

There IS a couch under here...somewhere

One of my 1% Changes is laundry-based.  No, I'm not going "organic" or anything like that...yet.  However, my simple goal with my laundry is to just simply get it all done...have empty baskets...have towels folded...shirts and pants hung up...everything in its place.  The thing of it is, the laundry multiplies all the time and I never seem to get to the bottom of it, thus leaving me with a couch that is rarely fit for someone to sit on!

Another 1% Change of mine is food-related.  Not anything fancy.  Just to get a plan in place and cook more often.  I'm often so tired, so overwhelmed, so exhausted, so...full of excuses???  I want to be able to put a meal on the table each night for my family.  I want to be able to have a plan and know in advance what each day will bring.  I can't even get that  accomplished!  If any of you actually have managed to come up with meal plans on a budget, do share!!!  The other part of this food change is to use my cooking skills to have things on hand for the family to my homemade apple pie.  I keep mentioning this pie in my posts.  It's just that I really like it.  It feels good to create something from scratch and to not have it look like it came off an assembly line and then to be able to just sit down to enjoy something that I crafted with my own hands.  At any rate, I want to be able to go to my bookcase and enjoy creating wonderful meals that my family will enjoy.

Just one of three shelves totally devoted to cookbooks.  Hmm...cookbook addiction??

Most importantly right now, one of my 1% Changes is to create an environment for myself conducive to really getting into the Word.  I read scripture daily, but I have trouble absorbing it at times.  I try to find insight each day (I'm involved in a daily online bible study) and post it, but it's so hard sometimes.  I feel like there's something separating me from getting really and truly into it some days.  I don't want to just read the Word.  I want to live the Word and breathe the Word.  I want my life to be a reflection of what God is calling us to be.  I don't know if I need to change the time at which I read or the place where I read...or really what I need to do at all.  All I know is that I want to put more effort into this area of my life.

My constant companion

Romans 12:2

New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

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