Fear of the Unknown

Sweet sweet friends. It has been far too long since we have chatted.

My website ( this one ) broke back in February. And I literally just fixed it last night/ this morning. 7 months. It took me SEVEN MONTHS to fix this. WHY? Why why why?

Because I was scared. I was scared I would ruin something. I was scared I would lose all of my work. I was scared that once I fixed it, I wouldn’t have anything to say. The fear of failure and the unknown prevented me from doing anything.

How many times in your life have you done this? How many times have you let your fear and anxiety prevent you from doing something that A. Needs to be done – or – B. is going to be awesome.  I know that I do it ALL THE TIME.

But today I made a decision – I will NOT do that anymore. I will NOT let the fear of the unknown stop me from doing something amazing. Which is why – even though this blog is no longer pretty like I want it to be (that creative work literally got erased when the site went down) I am posting. I am taking the first step and doing it scared. I will write about my life. I will write about my business. I will write about my religion. I will write about all the things I haven’t been able to write about before because FEAR was crippling me.

Today – I choose to be FEARLESS. Want to join me?

 

Emily B.

{ Preparing for Easter }

Today is only the first day of lent and my social media accounts have already been accosted with articles and blogs of things to fill your time with during these 40 days leading up to Easter. Usually, I try to just sit back and hold my tongue. To each their own. I can’t force my views on anyone. But a post just popped up that set me over the edge.

The title “40 Things to Declutter from your Life during Lent.” I saw this and the little thermometer in my head started rising but I thought to myself – maybe they are decluttering things like a fast – to focus on the Lord. I scrolled past it… And then my curiosity got the best of me. I scrolled back up my news feed, found the article and as I started reading, my blood started boiling. This was not an article about focusing on Christ – it was truly about cleaning your house before the guests come for Easter.

The top popped right off that thermometer and I couldn’t keep it in anymore. When did LENT turn into a time for people to get a jump on spring cleaning? When did LENT turn into a time that we are being pushed to fill our lives with things to do, bad habits to give up and good habits to start?  How have we missed the mark so badly?

First – I think we need to talk about Easter.
Easter is the day that Jesus Christ ROSE from THE DEAD!! Do you realize how amazing that is? When Jesus died on the cross – he died to save us from our sins. He sacrificed himself so that we wouldn’t have to suffer the wrath of his Father.

Now – we need to talk about lent.
Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter (excluding Sundays). Lent is not “biblical” but it was created as a time to draw closer to the Lord. To prepare our hearts for the death and subsequent resurrection of the Lord.

This post about cleaning your house to prepare for Easter reminded me of a story…

At the Home of Martha and Mary.
Luke 10: 38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her

.”

The Lord doesn’t care about what our homes look like, he cares about our hearts. He wants our relationship with him to grow. I can guarantee you that just focusing on a clean house this Lenten season will not help you grow closer to Christ. Instead of giving things up or throwing away the clutter – try something new. Try sitting down with your bible and losing yourself in his words. Get on your knees and pray. Be intentional.

Jesus himself said “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – indeed only one.” All he wanted was for Martha to sit and to talk to him, just as Mary was doing. Be like Mary.

– Emily B. –

Rustic Chic Chore Chart

Two summers ago my dear friend gave me a GORGEOUS 6 paned window that she had painted my favorite color – teal – and painted the glass with chalkboard paint. This beautiful window has been sitting behind my couch ever since then because I have had no idea what to do with it. Well folks – I finally know what to do!

At one point I thought I would put the weeks meal plan on it because meal planning is all the rage and apparently its what all super organized people do. Well I quickly learned that I am so not organized enough. I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal. I like to open the fridge and start making stuff with what ever happens to be in there and needs to be used up. So a meal planning chart was out of the question.

rustic chic chore chart edit

Then I thought about just putting some pretty pictures on it and maybe a bible verse and while that is really cute – at the time I only had pictures of the hubs and I. We don’t need that many pictures of just us hanging in our house. But today I was browsing the interwebs and I saw a fantastic idea – a chore chart! BRILLAINT! Growing up, my mom had a chore chart in the back hallway where no one could see it. She made it out of a big piece of poster board, sticky notes, and a permanent marker. Really, it was great – it did its job and it was super effective. But I don’t have anywhere in my house that I could hide something like that. So I want my chore chart to be pretty (that and I am kind of an overachiever (read: OCD) with the decorations) and since I have this gorgeous window already made – I’m going to use it.

If you want to make your own Rustic Chic Chore Chart – all you need is a 6 or 8 paned window (painting it is optional), and a white erase marker OR chalk if you choose to use chalkboard paint. I have a 6 paned window and that works great for my family because we do not do chores on Sundays – its Gods day so we do our best to rest… or we just play catch up from the rest of the week.. If you like to plan your Sundays out though, get the 8 paned and use the extra one for something fun – a verse, quote or inspiring picture or maybe something not so fun – like extra chores. All you need to do is label each box with a day of the week and then write out which chores need to get done that day. Hang it on your wall and then you are all done!

Until next time,

Emily B.

Emilyelizabethjoybrown.com

{ Patches }

This weekend I ventured to my craft room for the first time in over a month. (All creative brainpower takes the back burner when you have a baby). It was slightly frightening going through all the things piled up on the shelves. I always take these bleak winter months to reorganize and take inventory of all the supplies I have after such a busy crafting holiday season. And let me tell ya, I have a bunch of little projects I have been putting off. I had no idea I had let so many things pile up this year – apparently pregnant me thought that I would be more up to these little tasks when I had a new baby around. I must have lost my brain. Anyways though, one of the most annoying piles of things to do I found in my craft room was a big pile of my husbands jeans that need patched.

I don’t know about you, but I HATE fixing pants. Maybe its because once you patch them, they never really look right or maybe its because I really dislike the way knee patches feel against my knees. Or it could be that I have patched most of these particular jeans once before but they are all so old and my husband is so rough on them that the patched last maybe a month and then they rip out again or somewhere else. It might also be that it is such a monotonous job and I never have enough denim to patch all the holes.

But then I remembered a cute little craft that I could use on the pants – Monster Patches! To be honest, I haven’t actually done this yet because I think the hubs would be less than amused when his work jeans smile at him – but you could do this on your kiddos jeans or

monster_patches82

artbarblog.com

leggings and it would be so cute! I got this tutorial from one of my favorite crafting sites – artbarblog.com. ( <<Click the link for the whole tutorial)

-Just trim the hole so that there are no frayed edges. Next, cut a colored piece of fabric twice as big as the hole. I used some old t-shirts thinking that the stretchiness would work well on the knees. Then I cut out teeth from white felt. The trickiest part was getting my hand inside those skinny little jeggings. After pinning the fabric to the jeans (and stabbing myself, like, 100 times), I used some embroidery floss and a large needle to hand sew around the mouth. I went around twice for stability. Lastly, I made two little eyes. –

See, super simple!!

Until Next Time,

Emily B.

Emilyelizabethjoybrown.com

 

 

Feed the Birds!!

 

I live on an acreage with lots of trees that house lots of birds. During the warmer seasons, I love sitting outside listening to them sing and chat to each other. I even put fruit and seeds on tree stumps next to the house so I can watch the songs birds all the time and hear them when I open the windows. But in the winter, they have to work a little harder to find their food and I don’t get to enjoy them quite as much.

I don’t have a traditional bird feeder because I’m fairly certain the squirrels would destroy it. So every winter, I try to find a new clever way to feed these beautiful birds. I’ve tried all sorts of things; popcorn and cranberries strung from the trees, iced berry and seed wreaths, clusters of lard and seed, etc. But they never really attract any birds and don’t last through the first storm. So this year< I am trying something different – Pincone Feeders. They are super simple and easy for even the younger members of your family to make.

  • Pinecones, preferably open
  • String
  • Peanut butterpineconefeeder
  • Oatmeal or cornmeal
  • Birdseed mix from the store (you can make it high energy by adding some extra sunflower seeds or chopped nuts)
  • Plate or pie tin
  1. Tie a string around the pinecone.
  2. Mix ½ cup peanut butter with ½ cup oats/cornmeal.
  3. Use a spoon (or fingers!) to spread the mixture onto the pinecone. Make sure to get the mixture into the open areas of the pinecone. It’s easier if the mixture is warm.
  4. Place birdseed in pie tin. Roll and press seed onto pinecone until well covered.
  5. Hang your pinecone feeder in a tree just outside you window. Try to place it away from the tree trunk so it’s more difficult for squirrels to get to it.

I cant wait to see if the birds love snacking on this treat as much as I enjoyed making it.

Until next time,

Emily B.

Emilyelizabethjoybrown.com

 

 

 

Holiday Hangover

This week, I write to you from the couch in my parents living room, surrounded by my family… My very loud family. As I sit here listening to the conversations, I can’t help but think about how much I appreciate these moments. When I was growing up and we were all living here together – I would have been begging to do anything other than get snowed in with everyone. But now, I want to sit here in my sweat pants, watching movies, drinking cocoa and holding my baby all day. I want to sing silly songs with my sisters and have pillow fights until the mom gets upset with us for getting the dogs all riled up. When dad changes the channel to some car show, I don’t complain. I want to jokingly argue about who took the crayon I wanted tonuse next. Heck, I might even volunteer to cook dinner and do the dishes. It’s amazing how these things can change as time passes.

Our conversations revolve around Christmases past. Memories we made when we were younger. Things we want to do in the future, as a family. And of course there are a few arguments about the movies were watching and which one we get to watch next – even though no one is rally paying attention to the movie when we’re all just talking to each other.

Maybe it’s because I am a mom now, but I want to savor in these moments and soak them in so I never forget the feeling of being surrounded by people I love. Today is a nice reminder that I don’t always have to be doing something or going somewhere. And after a week full of Christmas parties with too much food and lots of rushing around – I needed today, we all needed today. I think everyone needs a day like this after the holidays. We need to step back from the abundance of food and drinks and just have a day of quiet and rest. It’s almost like when you would party too much in college and need a Sunday afternoon to recover from the hangover – except this is a holiday hangover. So please, take a little time in the last few moments of this year to enjoy your family and reflect on the memories you have made.