This week has just been amazing... On Monday I felt that the Lord was telling me to give the best of myself to my husband this week. Not in a "try harder for him to love me" way, but just in making conscious choices to not take offense at things, to be excited for him to have the opportunity to work instead of feeling sorry for myself that he's not home, etc.... There are so many more opportunities to chose peace than I ever thought. It's not like this week has been easier, it has offered plenty of moments of growth. But this week I just decided not to go with my first reaction.
What started out as a gift to my husband this week, has really come back to bless me. I have had the best week! I'm so much happier and I feel closer to Leif because I decide not focus on telling him about all the hard things that happened in my day, and we get to talk about other things! (I know! What a concept!) I'm so in love with him and I really like myself a lot better when I focus on the positive things. I also feel closer and more excited about my walk with the Lord- as I feel like I've needed the Lord's strength more.
I've also been working on simplifying our home, my life, my purse, closet etc. :) Ah... I feel so much lighter! Asking myself as I go though the house, "does this help me make my life simpler and more peaceful?" Reduced clutter in our bedroom (I try to make that the focus in cleaning- as that is our little sanctuary) and all over the house brings stress levels down. It also is very restful for Leif to come home to. I know this is easy for me to say as we only have a living room, bedroom, hallway, bathroom and kitchen.... :) but just start where you can and keep at it! I'm struggling with keeping up with my kitchen, but I keep working at it!
Reducing the number of products that I buy for us in cleaning, cooking, cosmetics etc. (not just saying food- but other things)... and have found three wonderful all natural products that are just awesome for everything around the house! Apple Cider vinegar is amazing for... everything. Here is an article on the health benefits of it and here is one on the uses of it. The big thing that I feel that it does is having 1-2 tbs of it in the a.m. dramatically helps me with energy for the day. It also helps fight infection, is great as a toner on my face at night (zits begone!) and can be used as a shampoo too... I haven't tried that yet, but would like to!
Regular White Vinegar (cheapo at the grocery store!) is my go-to cleaner for everything. My mom taught me this and I used to really dislike the smell... it doesn't bother me as much now, but for a general house cleaner (it the bathrooms I use it straight up), I mix a couple drops of essential oils (I like sweet orange and lavender), water and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Smells great!
The last one is my favorite at the moment... Coconut oil. Here's an article on 101 uses for it. I've been using it as a substitute for butter in recipes, frying, greasing cookie sheets, mascara remover, body moisturizer, massage oil (not greasy- like baby oil and all natural) ... it is so awesome! I got a large container of it at Walmart in the oil section for about $5.50 - make sure that it's 100% pure Coconut Oil.
Well... I'm off to drop a load of ... stuff... off at Goodwill (make sure you get a receipt and save it for the tax write off!) ... making my house more peaceful, one goodwill drop off at a time. :)
Hope you all have a great week and I will be praying that you all will, with me, ask the Lord for the strength each moment to chose His peace.
P.S. Some of these tips really helped me in simplifying- I don't agree with everything, but some of it was really thought provoking.