Simple Abundance

Simple abundance. Is there such a thing?

My husband and I are in our final years of employment as we inch closer to retirement. Weekends are spent updating our home, and weeknights are spent daydreaming about our next house. There is a long way to go between point A and point B, with a lot of clutter in between.

To Purge or Not to Purge

I have been reading articles about clutter purging, and I also have a copy of Marie Kondo’s bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (Although, I’m not exactly sure where it is.) Organization experts agree that our adult children won’t want all the stuff we’ve been clinging to for years. Most young people have opted for simple living with fewer possessions than their parents. Whether that is intentional or a matter of circumstance, I’m not quite sure.

Our clutter situation isn’t quite this bad as this photo from, but it’s an accurate depiction of the overall task that lies ahead. However daunting that task might be, I’ve learned that replacing your floors really helps to speed the process along. Like any DIY project, it takes a lot of planning and we must set our own pace. Each room has to be completely emptied before we can rip up the old carpet and padding. But when we are finished, it’s a shiny new clean slate.

A Fresh Start

As we begin putting things back into each finished room, my goal is to define and embrace a new concept of simple abundance.

The Lord has showered our family with His love, and we’ve been blessed beyond our dreams. Although we have an abundance of “stuff”, we are being more thoughtful about what we save. This means keeping things that have a legitimate purpose, but also things that we cherish or that have special meaning to us.

Maybe that sounds similar to Ms. Kondo’s “spark joy” concept, but it has deeper meaning to me.

Our home will always be a welcoming space — not just for my husband and me — but for family and strangers alike. It may never be completely clutter-free, but it will be a place to share our abundance and offer welcoming warmth and comfort to all who cross its threshold.


You Surpass Them All

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is the very best day to focus on the blessings in my life, and the beautiful family that the Lord has given me.

This will be the most quoted scripture of the day, but Proverbs 31:28-29 sums up the blessings of being a wife and mother . . .

My day began with Sunday worship, followed by a surprise Mother’s Day brunch, alone with my husband.

This was the view from our window seat overlooking a soggy West Market Street from Casa Nostra. (Definitely worth checking out, NoVa friends!)

I neglected to take a photo of my first course Caesar salad, but it set the stage perfectly for the main course of pan-seared salmon with ricotta gnocchi and a pesto cream sauce. And, no Italian brunch would be complete without Tiramisu. It was a decadent meal!

I returned home and was showered with Mother’s Day cards from both children, flowers, goodies and a Kohl’s gift card. (My son knows me well 😉.) And no Mother’s Day would be complete without a long, lazy nap.

My own mother and late mother-in-law are examples of women who deeply loved and sacrificed for their families. They were both raised during the Depression and knew the meaning of hardship. I believe this helped them raise their families on a shoestring budget, while creatively stretching every dollar. They were frugal shoppers, skilled seamstresses, and round-the-clock nurses. Multi-tasking wasn’t a term in the 60’s and 70’s, yet they were the pioneers. Many mothers left their homes when the kids went off to school, and took up careers of their own.

Mother’s Day looked very different when we were kids. I don’t remember bringing Mom breakfast in bed, but she usually got a break from cooking. That meant going out to dinner or ordering takeout, which was a special treat for our family.

And even though it was a holiday in her honor, like all other moms, she still did a lot of the usual tasks that day in preparation for the week ahead. In that spirit, I made my weekly run to Wegman’s today, and am knee-deep in laundry as I type.

So, thank you to all the moms who came before my generation, setting the bar and guiding our feet in paths toward the future. You have inspired us, guided us, and made us proud to bear the title of mother — or mentor — to the children in our lives. 💕