Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everyday Light Life: Lately

I haven't been accidentally neglecting this space. I've been purposely avoiding it. A few months ago, I set down my camera, set aside my blog, and dropped all my personal projects in order to find perspective and clarity in my life. Posting has been sporadic because I just needed some breathing room. I wrote about this on a recent post on Instagram, but to summarize, I found that setting aside creative endeavors only caused the usual chaos in my life to feel completely unmanageable. So little by little, I'm making space in my life for these forms of expression. But there have been some pretty big changes in the months since I last blogged regularly, and I thought this might be a good time to catch up. Here are a few things you might've missed if you don't follow me in Instagram:

I have pink hair now
Oh yeah. It's a whole thing... I've even been stepping outside my style comfort zone and wearing pink. I'm convinced I was supposed to have been born with pink hair. You can follow my attempts on Instagram with the hashtag #adventuresinwearingpink. You can find out more about the products I use to maintain my pink hair by using the hashtag #everydaylighthair.

We're selling the #AhlgrimHaus
This is still a tender subject for me, because it's really difficult to say good bye to such a gem of a home, but the reality is that we need to move on. We listed the house For Sale By Owner at the beginning of May. After two days, two showings, and two offers, we were under contract and stuffing our belongings into moving boxes. We're under contract to buy a new home, but it's an uncertain deal at the moment, to be frank. It's been a stressful couple of months, because apparently it's difficult to get a mortgage on a new home when you own several properties already. Which leads us to our next development...

We're house flippers now
So you may or may  not know that my husband and I own a small leasing and management company. But this year, we officially (and successfully) made our foray into the world of house flipping. We've finished one and are in the process of selling it, and already have our second one nearly finished. It's been a goal of ours for a few years now, so it's really exciting to finally be stepping further into that role. You can follow those misadventures using the hashtag #flippingthe918 on Instagram.

I guess that's kind of it for now. I feel like There are some really big things on the horizon, but we just can't touch them yet. Right now, there is a lot of trusting in God's plan and holding on for dear life. I'm glad to be back, and I hope you'll stay with me.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Biggest Lie About the Proverbs 31 Woman

Can we talk just for a second about the Proverbs 31 Woman? I know. You’ve seen all of the blog posts and read all the books and shared all the hand-lettered graphics about her. She’s who you’re supposed to want to be, right? She’s what we’re supposed to be striving for. She’s the reason you took up knitting. She’s the prime example of a God-fearing woman. But ladies… I just can’t.

I can. not.

You want to know which part of Proverbs 31 gets me the most? “She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household,” because let’s just be real, okay? This is not something I am ever going to be able to do. Most mornings, my kids wake me by screaming, “we want Froot Loops!”  In fact, MOST of the P31 virtues escape me. I am indecisive. I am often selfish and lazy. I’m not a great cook, I own no less than six different grey t-shirts and wear them with black leggings or jeans most days. And I. Am. Exhausted. The only thing I’ve ever “spun” is a web of lies known as, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.” My faith-style in this season of life would best be described as “momma tried,” okay? I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here when it comes to wifery (not a word, but fun to say) and motherhood. I’m just trying to survive and love people the best that I can.

You could say I struggle, all right? But the more I read, the more I realize something: Nowhere in Proverbs 31 does it say, “She is without sin,” or “She never feels lonely or doubts the Lord,” or, “She never loses her temper with her four year-old when he draws on the walls for the umpteenth time, “ or even, “All her hard work brought her great joy.” In fact, Proverbs 31 tells us very little about the heart of the woman which it’s describing. Sure, we know what she does and we know some characteristics: Trustworthy. Hardworking. Creative. Obedient. Business-savvy. She’s spinning yarn and wheeling and dealing all while donning the finest fashions. She’s a hustler, baby. But she’s completely made up.

That’s right. Proverbs 31 was not a biography of some noblewoman that was revered throughout the land. Ya know who wrote Proverbs 31? King Lemuel (or Solomon. Or Lemuel IS Solomon. It’s a whole thing. Google it.) basically in the words of his mother. It’s a list of the virtues of an “excellent wife” according to the ESV, and/ or Bill & Ted (If you don’t get that joke, you’re too young to be my friend).

So essentially, a queen that wanted the best for her son created a checklist for a royal wife. I’ll stop short of calling this an arbitrary list (because, ya know- blasphemy and all) because there’s a reason it’s included in the Word of the Lord. These virtues- this list of characteristics- they’re true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on these things. The Lord wants us to see this list and acknowledge that those things are worth striving for. Who wouldn’t want to be called blessed by her children and praised by her husband? But the biggest lie about the Proverbs 31 Woman is one that we tell ourselves: that we cannot come before God as we are- that we still have items on the list to check off before He will have us. And I have to tell you, that’s just not true.

Christ speaks of my value in Matthew 10:29-31. He demonstrated His love for me in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And He calls me more than blessed; he calls me Beloved.

You do not have to be the P31 to be a cherished daughter of Christ. You don’t have to be her to be loved or find a spouse or contribute to the Kingdom. Mostly because you can’t be her. You will never check off enough things on a list to make others love and value you more, and you certainly can’t send your resume to Christ in the hopes that he’ll add your name to the list of contenders for salvation.

That’s done. You’re His. You with your clearance-rack fashion, parenting failures, and less-than Pinterest-worthy kitchen. You with your utter lack of sewing skills. You and all your selfishness, laziness, doubts, shame, fear, and the ugliest parts that you try to hide behind the highlight reel of your social media feed. He sees all of those parts because he made those parts of you… And He loves those parts of you.

So take heart, Christian woman. Maybe you’re not an “excellent wife” all the time. Maybe you haven’t seen a sunrise since the last frat party you went to in college and your food preparation specialty is box-mix-brownies (which is probably Jesus’ favorite food anyway). But you’re in the good company of all the other P31 Wannabes. We’re all just out here, trying to untangle our wool and flax. And we have Froot Loops. I’ll start my diet tomorrow.

Monday, May 1, 2017

An Eclectic Big-Girl Room for Birdy

I just wanted to hop on and show you a quick re-vamp of my daughter's room! I can't even count the number of times this room has been rearranged since moving into this house. I try to change it in order to give Vesper the proper space to do whatever it is that Vesper does- one week it's dancing and gymnastics, and the next it's reading and writing. This week it happens to be playing with her dollhouse and drawing animal pictures. I recently acquired a new headboard for her room, so I figured now was as good a time as ever to repair it and set it up in her space! Now she can use all sides of her dollhouse, and still have space to play on the floor or sit at her little table and draw to her heart's content! Check out the list below for product details!

Headboard: vintage, purchased on Facebook Marketplace
Quilt: Steinmart (for similar, search "orange paisley quilt" on Amazon!)
Rug: at home
White chest: Target (painted Du Jour White by Valspar)
Wall color: Pinwheel Pink by Glidden
Dollhouse: vintage, thrift find
Paper mache giraffe bust: Anthropologie (no longer available)
Bunting banner: DIY
Bible verse print: Etsy (similar here)
Toile curtains: came with the house! (score!)