Boyfriend Isn’t Ready to Get Engaged?

Sometimes I get awesome emails from young female readers about their relationship issues, and letting me know what they our younger generation is facing when it comes to dating problems.

This is not one of those emails. (Psyche!) ūüėõ

This is a question posed from a site that I used to be an active commentator on in helping with marriage conflict and counseling, Enotalone.com. ¬†It’s a great question, and hopefully it will help any of you out there reading this that are interested in what you should do, or if you’re ever in this position.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years. I’m in my late 20’s and he’s in his early 30’s. My boyfriend’s company recently offered him a position in one of their locations in India. The position comes with a rather large increase in salary and a new title. It’s a great opportunity for him but it’s in a different country and he doesn’t know how long they will want him there for. It will be at least a year but it could very well be longer.

He’s asked me to move there with him. I’m lucky that I can work remotely from anywhere so that isn’t a huge problem. It’ll be a hassle but it can work. But moving there will mean living in a place where I won’t know a single person, I don’t know the language or customs or anything. I don’t know what I will do with my house here or my car or anything. i feel like I would be giving up a lot. I’m ready to get married and start a family. At my age, I think this is perfectly reasonable.

However, I do want to be with him and I am considering it. But my problem is, I want us to at least be engaged before I make such a big change for him and for us. I don’t think that’s asking for too much. I feel like if I’m willing to change my entire life, then i want some kind of commitment from him. Being engaged doesn’t mean we get married immediately but it shows that he’s serious about us and I really want that commitment first.

but he isn’t ready to get engaged. He says that he doesn’t feel like we’re there yet in our relationship.

What should I do? Is this the end of our relationship?”

***

Ok, so this is actually a really great question, and if you’re a reader and feel like you have some advice to chip in, by all means PLEASE do so ūüôā ¬†The more the merrier I think, especially with issues like this.

The problem with relationships in this post-feminist age is that people go into them without being clear about their specific end goals. ¬†Obviously, this young woman is wanting marriage and a family, and in my opinion, this is in her best interest and great for her. ¬†It’s not clear if this woman is a Christian, if they’re cohabitating (living in sin), but even if she is/isn’t, getting married young and starting her family is God’s design for her. ¬†Many women find their happiness and fulfillment in this godly role, even if it isn’t for everyone to pursue (those who have the gift of singleness).

However, for men, marriage has become something that’s risky¬†to enter. ¬†We are now seeing increasing numbers of men in the 20-35 age range who are turning their backs on marriage, due to the lack of assurance that their future wife will even desire to meet their needs (two of the main ones being respect and sex), as well as all the financial and emotional risk of divorce if their wife initiates one. ¬†Men are caught in a strange predicament of having to commit their everything to one woman, only to then feel trapped in a sexless marriage, or be constantly disrespected by their wives and undermined as the godly leader of their home. ¬†The risk of losing everything, all their financial success, their business success, their children and the rights to see them if she falsely accuses him so that she gains sole custody, are on him and him alone. ¬†Most women (especially young ones) have no idea how to comprehend all this and see from a man’s point of view, how dangerous and unappealing marriage is starting to look.

Women (even Christian women) are initiating¬†more divorces than men, and many times, for reasons that are unbiblical and merely based on their unhappiness or discontentment in their marriage. ¬†There are many things that simply don’t warrant divorce, ¬†but could be worked through, or (gasp) even suffered through together. ¬†I know in our current times, it’s politically incorrect to even suggest that marriage should be expected to be at times hard or difficult. ¬†And to be clear, I’m not speaking about cases of infidelity or abuse, where the wife needs to divorce in order to keep herself or any children safe. ¬†It’s just honest to look at what our society has created now, though, and admit that it’s no longer in a single man’s best interest to get married, unless he’s certain he’s found the best woman out there for him who won’t destroy their family.

So now we come to her dilemma. ¬†My answer would be that she needs to move on from this relationship. ¬†She either isn’t the woman he truly wants to commit to, or he doesn’t truly want to commit to anyone at this time (or even possibly ever). ¬†It may be that he just wants a lifetime partner to cohabitate with, and is not interested in the legal ramifications of marriage. ¬†Since their end goals are so opposite, she needs to be spending her time elsewhere, looking for a partner who is ready and interested in marrying her. ¬†She needs to count her past 3 years in this relationship as wasted time, and choose more wisely next time based on the man’s specific end goals. ¬†It may sound offensive to call this “wasted time,” however time is each person’s most precious commodity that they have, and with her desire to get married and have children, it is of the most importance that she have a sober view of how critical it is that she not get herself into another disappointing relationship where she is less likely to achieve her end goals.

Another thing I would advise any woman¬†in her position, is that she should also be making herself¬†into the best woman that they¬†can be, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mindfully. ¬†Reading books to broaden her mind, the classics, getting into her best shape physically so that she’s at her most attractive, wearing clothes that accentuate her shape, wearing her hair and makeup in tasteful and feminine ways… all these things are important if she’s interested in finding a husband. ¬†‚̧

Good luck!

Dragonfly

Is Being a “Keeper of the Home” Unhealthy & Bad for Children?

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

***

What is the purpose and value of a wife that keeps her home well, and sets an example of godly womanhood for her children?

I believe the value of a wife who chooses to focus on her husband and children as the most important people in her life, a mother who creates a wonderful place of peace and serenity for her family, is beyond riches and any success one can find on their own, pursuing their own fulfillment.

Fathers are equally important in their different role and purpose for the family, and there is certainly a time and place to argue the importance of fathers in a feminist society that tries to diminish our need for them and erase the beauty of masculinity.

But I want to focus on mothers today, the various pressures we feel to succumb to what society wants or thinks is best for our families, and encourage women to know their value and worth to their husbands and children in fulfilling that glorious and high calling that is a wife and mother.

Being a wife and mother is such an honor, but ironically, I think we as moms tend to struggle with it feeling much less like an “honor,” and much more of an overwhelming responsibility that we’re failing at. ¬†With a world that tells us that we’re not fulfilled unless we’re making money, or “doing something productive” with our time, it’s no wonder we don’t feel as though we’re doing something of value at times, especially, for the mother who stays at home with her children.

This is for the mothers that feel like they’re failing, discouraged, or overwhelmed.

Your work you’re doing right now is so productive!

It is so important!

And if we do it with a willing, cheerful attitude, it will make a lasting impression on our children!

Raising our children, being available for them when they need something, playing with them, being cheerful and having fun with them… is productive!

Managing a household, helping our husbands be ready and at their best for work, helping our kids to be ready and at their best for school, all the multitude of tasks that go into making sure these things go smoothly and everyone is taken care of (including ourselves!) is productive!

 

“God wants to help you make your life a place of order, peace, and serenity. ¬†

You are helping shape the lives of your children by everything you do and say.  

The job of a mother is a high and holy calling.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

Some things we can all be reminded of in this journey of motherhood:

  • We teach our children by your example, we can’t require them to have qualities in their character that we ourselves don’t have a handle on
  • Self discipline – are we spending our time wisely, limiting computer time so that we can get more important work done? ¬†Are we neglecting our work or be available to our children
  • Restraint – I think as mothers, we have to learn the art of restraint, of not giving in to every emotion or word we want to say. ¬†Our words, when we’re tired or overwhelmed, have the potential to greatly harm our husband and our children. ¬†Being women of restraint, only saying things that build up and are good for those who hear, is part of the santification process of motherhood and wifery.
  • Submission – Are we submitting to our husbands? ¬†How do you speak to your husband? ¬†Do you honor him in the way you treat him? ¬†Do you go out of your way to treat him with respect? ¬†Do you do things he requests you to do and do them¬†with a good attitude?

 

Additional Reading to encourage you:

Thoughts from mothers who wish they could stay home

Homemaking when it’s hard

Christian women shouldn’t be careerists

 

This is not an article trying to diminish the work women are able to do outside the home. ¬†I definitely believe a mom who also needs to be in the workforce in addition to her role as a mother, is still a homemaker and a “keeper of the home.” ¬†It does become harder, though, to balance and organize life around a job or career and proper care and supervision of small children.

Just Do the Next Thing

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Something our main Bible study leader has repeatedly told us, and that originally came from the teachings of Elisabeth Elliot, is that no matter what happens, just do the next thing.

It’s such a beautiful lesson really. ¬†It’s so easy to get distracted with worry over how we’ll get all our tasks done in the day, or what needs to happen this week, or caught up in feeling overwhelmed when our families are going through a particularly busy time.

I’ve even¬†heard this advice applied to when we’re caught up in our own or our family’s¬†crisis, when we wonder how we’re going to survive this heartache and feel as though we can’t go on.

Just do the next thing.

Don’t let yourself give in to worry, it doesn’t help anyway.

Just do the next thing.

When you’re exhausted and there’s still so much to do, and you feel like giving up because it seems impossible that you could manage to get everything done,

Just do the next thing.

Don’t worry about all the things you’ll have to do after you finish one task, just focus on the one thing you’ve decided is next and get it done.

If you’re overwhelmed with housework because you’ve had a busy couple of days, running errands that needed your attention, taking your children to their extra-curricular activities, and you step in your house and suddenly see the tornado-like disaster, stay calm and,

Just do the next thing.

It’s true that a lot of housework can just be managed by being proactive, but there are also times when we’ve just been busy. ¬†Don’t be overly critical on yourself, if you need a quick nap to feel recharged for the day, by golly take a nap! ¬†I have a scheduled nap time for our household everyday that is a wonderful time for me to either catch up reading online or curl up and nap along with the baby. ¬†Our older son doesn’t usually like to nap anymore, but we still make him have this quiet time so that he can relax and learn how to have time to himself to re-charge.

It’s normal for wives and mothers to feel overwhelmed with all the things that depend on them to get accomplished, but the wise woman chooses not to stress out, and instead she will just do the next thing.

 

A great blog post from Lisa at Club31women.com that goes with this topic is 5 Steps to Follow When You’re Overwhelmed with Housework¬†!

Cleaning with Little Ones Around the House

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As a mom of two, it doesn’t surprise me that I often hear moms complain that it’s too difficult to keep a house clean with young children… I understand ūüėÄ ¬†especially when you have little ones who delight in¬†pulling all their clothes out of the drawers and playing with the clean laundry!

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But I discovered a post by a Grandmother, author and blogger, Mrs. Sharon White, titled Cleaning House with Baby, and fell in love with the wonderful way she embraces keeping her home, even with little ones to entertain!  I thought you might be encouraged in hearing her words as much as I was!

From Sharon:

It is certainly a challenge to keep house, when there are babies and small children around. But these are the loveliest times of all for the homemaker.

Babies often look on curiously at all the work we do in the home.  They are shocked by the noise from the blender, the vacuum, and the washing machine. 

One day last week, I was making a cake.  I had baby in the carriage.  He watched as I brought down the large mixing bowl (to his level), and used my electric hand-mixer to stir the cake batter. He loved it!

I have put him in the walker while vacuuming the carpet.¬† It is easy to play fun games with baby, when one is cleaning.¬† He enjoys seeing all the action going on at Grandmother’s house.

We garden together, hang clothes on the line, wash dishes, sing hymns, sweep floors, and wash the high-chair tray!¬† Well, I do all those things while baby watches.¬† (Much like when I am helping Mister with his stuff, He does all the work, while I stand nearby.)¬† It’s really the being together that is wonderful.

Part of playing with babies and children most certainly happens while we are living our normal, daily life.  We just bring the children along in our activities, making our work and our days delightful.

Blessings
Mrs. White

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Since we want to have more children, it’d be nuts for me to wait until they’re older to figure out how to keep the house cleaned and organized… here are some ideas that help us in our household to enjoy cleaning, but also enjoy playing together:

  • Use their messes they make in their playtime as an opportunity to teach them the proper way to clean up. ¬†If they get all the clothes out, help them learn that it’s nice to put them back in the drawers.
  • Help them to remember to put away toys they have gotten out that they are no longer playing with.
  • One of the best things I’ve learned to do, is to spend about 15-30 minutes every evening just tidying up the entire living room area and game room. ¬†Our oldest boy joins in with me and takes this time before dinner to put back all his toys he’s gotten out. ¬†It’s great to get to relax in a calm, quiet living room after I’ve tucked them both in bed, instead of having to run around putting his toys back myself, or tripping over action figures and blocks.
  • One of my favorite things to do, and something my husband teases me about, is that I love to put on music when I clean, especially with the boys doing their own thing. ¬†Our oldest smiles and dances with me, the baby smiles at us in the most delighted way, and claps his baby hands. ¬†Music is the great mood-changer, and if you don’t necessarily like cleaning and organizing, at least you can do it with a great song in the background!

A Woman’s Attractiveness Reflects on Her Husband’s Appeal, Talent and Ability

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I had one of the most interesting comments last week by Object of Contempt, wondering how keeping passionate love, romance, and a woman’s attractiveness alive and well in a marriage are intertwined with each other, and if they are at all supported in Scripture. ¬†He admitted that most women don’t seem to have a problem with wanting to be attractive, but for the women who are extremely against it, are there any biblical passages that show it’s important to God?

His main question was how a woman would address another woman who is really determined to refuse to be attractive to her husband?  Would she need a certain approach to make it more palatable?

These are all really great questions, and this is a sensitive issue for many women, especially in our current day culture.

Let’s tackle the notion of attractiveness first:

Like I said in Men Need an Attractive Wife,

Most men really do value having a wife that is attractive.

It’s not shallow that they want to show you off, it’s not shallow that even just looking at you and knowing that you’re their’s makes them feel proud of you.

It’s just the way God designed the male nature.

_____________________________________________________

 

It is, in large part, a reflection on the man, what his wife looks like.

This is where the topic gets a little more serious. ¬†When a woman takes care of her appearance and tries to look her best for her husband, she is helping her marriage to flourish by giving her husband respect. ¬†Keeping herself attractive for him shows him how much she respects, honors, and admires him. ¬†In other words, she wouldn’t dare let herself go because not only does she respect herself too much, but she knows her appearance reflects on who he is as a man and as her husband.

When a woman refuses to be and remain attractive to her husband in the way that he likes, when she gains weight after marriage or never loses her pregnancy weight, it is almost as if she is sending him the message that he deserves a woman who looks unattractive. ¬†That he can’t or couldn’t do better. ¬†When she refuses to be attractive to him, she is saying that she doesn’t care about his visual needs, that she disrespects the man that he is.

 

One of my favorite books, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes, describes this phenomenon quite well,

Paul reminds us, “Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? ¬†You are not your own; you were bought at a price. ¬†Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)…

Have you ever noticed how a man who enjoys hunting likes to display his catch? ¬†A great blue marlin is mounted over a mantel, a five-point deer head emerges from a wall, a stuffed greenhead mallard proudly tops a desk. All this is to say, “Hey, guys, look at what I caught. Eat your heart out.”

There’s nothing your husband would like more than to flaunt his attractive wife out in public. ¬†He may not mount you on the wall (let’s hope not), but when he walks into a room with you at his side, he wants to say, “Hey, look what I caught. ¬†She’s all mine. ¬†Eat your heart out!” ¬†I daresay, when you walked down the aisle on your wedding day, that’s exactly what he was thinking!

“When a man has an attractive wife, it says he has the appeal and talent that deserve someone of her caliber.

When a man’s wife let’s herself become unattractive, the message comes across loud and clear that he couldn’t get someone better and probably deserves her. ¬†He has little to offer, the world decides, and he attracts little in return.”

The Bible reminds us that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). ¬†The truth remains… man looks at the outward appearance.

Of course, I don’t think most women who let themselves become unattractive want to reflect badly on their husbands,¬†or even understand that not trying to be attractive makes their husbands feel as if they don’t care about them. ¬†Many times I believe women just think that men act and feel like women – that outer looks don’t matter to them as much as it truly often does.

But men (most men) are wired to like looking at a beautiful woman – and it makes them ecstatic if their wife is attractive to them! ¬†They want their wives to make an effort to be attractive for all these reasons, and yes, Object of Contempt is right that it directly encourages passionate love and romance to flourish in a man’s heart toward his wife.

Object of Contempt rightly points out that a woman making an effort in her attractiveness is doing her part to maintain passionate love and even romance in their marriage:

I think, however, that it is part of the vows to do what you can to maintain passionate love. Being attractive is part of that. I also think it is possible to make yourself be in love with someone (having done it myself). There are limits, of course. Romance and passion are often dismissed in christian teaching about marriage, just like attractiveness and beauty are. I suspect this is partially the cause for the attractiveness issue.

____________________________________________________

The second part of Object of Contempts question: How would a woman would address another woman who is really determined to refuse to be attractive to her husband?  Would she need a certain approach to make it more palatable?

Will be discussed in the next post!

Staying Focus: Having Joy in Spite Of

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I feel like I’ve learned so many little lessons from not only this Joy study itself, but the many different things in my life during this time. ¬†It’s amazing to experience God’s peace and joy, even in the midst of things that would seem negative, things that normally would rob one of joy or happiness or peace.

This week, we’ve been learning how to practice having joy in spite of difficult or less than desirable circumstances. ¬†This journey over the past few months¬†has truly grown me and stretched me, to where I’m not even the same person I was a few months ago. ¬†I’ve heard so many messages now on what God was pressing on my heart – Staying Focus – and so many gifts of wisdom from people in my life on how to respond in better, more Christ-like ways to attacks and accusations.

I don’t retaliate anymore when I’m tempted to. ¬†I don’t try to fight back in ways that only make matters worse. ¬†I don’t give in to feeling ashamed when Satan uses people to bring up my past failures, things I’ve already apologized for and reconciled with them about. ¬†I know God’s used my past failures to help me learn how to respond better in my life, and that I’m fully covered in His grace. ¬†There is no more condemnation for my past failings. ¬†And I know how to spot Satan’s attempts at stealing my joy – they don’t even work anymore – when he tries to condemn me for things I’ve already been forgiven for. ¬†I know I’m covered in God’s grace, and feel no condemnation! ¬†I still have joy ūüôā

Now I actually celebrate and am actually a little excited to see insults and slander, not because of it or the pain it does cause me, but because I have the renewed chance to respond the right way this time. ¬†To do things right. ¬†Even last night, I decided to pray for someone that was obviously acting without self-control… again, and trying to cause harm by what she thought was a good plan at retaliation at feeling wronged. ¬†It was exciting for me to know and decide right then at that moment, that I would not retaliate, and that I would pass that test God was giving me to learn how to deal better with sinful people.

I decided not to retaliate with insults or accusations of her past wrongs, or attacks like the last time I failed this test. ¬†I decided I was going to forgive her, again, pray for her, and thank God for what she was doing and saying. ¬†Sometimes we have to forgive people multiple times because they keep allowing Satan to use them. ¬†But my reaction last night, is a far cry from what I would have done just a few months ago. ¬†And that’s amazing!

It’s something to celebrate! ¬†So I’m celebrating this week, for doing something I never would have been able to do with such grace this time last year. ¬†I’m celebrating for the progress and maturity this means for me. ¬†I’m celebrating because in passing this test, I’ll be able to move to the next level with God and be ready for whatever He has for me there.

So be encouraged readers!!  Have joy Рjoy in spite of.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

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This is the epic soup of Fall.  The combination of all the ingredients with their surprisingly opposite notes of flavor (onions + maple syrup anyone??), all came together to almost taste like a prelude to a Thanksgiving dinner.  It was like eating a Thanksgiving Soup!

Anyway, I’ve never successfully made this soup before, I think I have tried maybe 2 years ago or so, and failed miserably – somehow it just tasted horrible. ¬†But this recipe I found at our local grocery store (HEB for you Texans) was a new spin on the traditional Butternut Squash Soup. ¬†This soup is drastically different from it’s more widely consumed version; it has maple syrup, brown sugar, and apples – giving it a much deeper flavor and intensity as the regular version sticks with the plain ingredients.

I loved how it gave our family a taste of Thanksgiving to come!  I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup – HEB Recipe

  • 3 pkg. HEB Butternut Squash or 1-Whole Butternut, cleaned and diced discarding peel
  • 2 Apples, cored and diced (Ambrosia Apples are great flavor), or 2 cups Apple sauce (Unsweetened preferred but sweetened works just fine)
  • 8 oz Diced Savory Vegetables (HEB wants you to buy their packages, but I just looked online to see what “diced veggies” could go into this soup normally. ¬†It’s a blend of 1/2 an onion diced, 1 potato diced, along with other optional things like 1 carrot or 1 celery stalk. ¬†It’s up to you what you use really).
  • 6 oz Maple Syrup or 1 cup Brown Sugar (I used 1/2 cup Maple Syrup and 1/2 cup Brown Sugar because I liked the idea of having both in the soup).
  • 1 Tbsp Texas Prime Coarse seasoning (I simply used some parsley & garlic as I didn’t want to buy more seasoning)
  • 1 qt HEB Chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream (I used 1 1/2 cups of milk, whisking it in after the soup was pureed)
  • Salt & Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400’F.

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Amazed at the brown sugar and maple syrup combination!

Amazed at the brown sugar and maple syrup combination!

1 Potato diced

1 Potato diced

The beautiful veggie mixture, onions were added afterwards.

The beautiful veggie mixture tossed and coated, onions were added afterwards.

After roasting for 1 hour

After roasting for 1 hour.  Smelled heavenly, like a Thanksgiving Soup!

After puree, the end result!

After puree, the end result!

Combine all squash, diced apples (applesauce) and veggies and place into baking pan.  Drizzle maple syrup and add seasonings.  Toss to coat.  Roast for 45 min to 1 hr.  Allow veggie mixture to cool and add into food processor in batches to create puree. In a stock pot, pour broth, cream and puree and simmer for 10 minutes.

Adjust to your favorite consistency (by adding more water or broth if you have any left over, or the texture of the puree). ¬†My husband loves soup that isn’t completely pureed, so I make sure to leave some of¬†chunks of the veggies in the soup. ¬†It was glorious!

Bon Appetit!

Single Women: Don’t Do Messy-Girl Style!

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Single women… men notice your counter tops!

Not those counter tops – not even your kitchen counter tops, although those matter, too. ¬†I’m talking about your counter space in your restroom, and the storage of your feminine beauty items. ¬†A woman’s restroom and how clean she keeps it is actually more important than you think.

Growing up my mother always tried to instill in me to keep my bathroom area – mainly the counter top space – clean and organized, free of clutter, but it always seemed like a chore and slightly unnecessary. ¬†Especially when one is single – who sees your counter top in your bathroom?¬† It began to make more sense in college when I would see my friend’s dorm rooms and see guys using their restroom. ¬†If it was dirty or unclean, the guys would mentally make note of it, sometimes even say something about it.

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A few years ago, I read an article over at Into The Gloss, the chicest resource for what the models and celebrities secretly wear and do for their beauty regimen, a brief instruction to all the female readers to not be a “messy girl” and that one of the greatest sins of chic they could commit was to have a messy bathroom, especially a cluttered up counter top.

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It’s true. ¬†Since then I’ve read many comments from men, talking about how much they wish women were aware of what they accidentally show them when they enter their apartment. Or (gasp!!) use their girlfriend’s bathroom. ¬†Men love to have the idea of a woman being polished, together. Seeing you outside of your home, looking beautiful and polished, only to find out that your inner world is a mess is disappointment to them. ¬†Most men are completely and utterly turned off by the messy girl life style. ¬†It demonstrates low value, that the girl doesn’t care about her possessions, that she isn’t responsible enough to take care of where she lives, and that she doesn’t have the integrity to be disciplined and clean behind closed doors. ¬†When reading Into the Gloss, where it showed pictures daily of the Top Shelfs (bathroom storage) of the beauty supplies, perfumes, candles, etc. the models and designers, producers, and leading women in the beauty industry – all women of high value – each and every top shelf was organized and clean.

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I don’t want it sound like this is the most important thing in attracting men, because obviously it isn’t! ¬†The models and designers that have their bathrooms go on photo-shoots probably clean like never before! ¬†But it’s still something beautiful and good to aspire to. ¬†It’s unreasonable to expect 24/7 organization, but the key here is to learn how to make it easier, more manageable, and give you that boost of enjoying a clean, organized bathroom space.

Even Elisabeth Elliot had something to say on the beauty of cleanliness in a woman,

‚ÄúThe way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.‚ÄĚ

***

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Tips to keep your bathroom looking like a Top Shelf:

  • Keep your vanity counter clean by wiping it down every night after you use it, this helps dust and debris from building up over time. ¬†My dad taught me this and continued to do it himself for years.
  • Only keep a few key feminine or favorite pieces on your counter top to avoid clutter. ¬†Clutter just looks horribly messy, believe me I wish it didn’t! ¬†So just stick to a couple of key pieces that are beautiful, even better if they can provide dual functions like a toothbrush holder. I have a couple of elegant pieces right now, 2 that serve as dual functions. ¬†My Grandma’s antique angel jewelry holder is the stand for my contact case, a beautiful tiny vase holds my favorite nail polishes and glasses, along with little things like bobby pins at times. ¬†And an antique, glass perfume bottle I found at a thrift store for $1, just to add a more feminine touch.
  • Store your bulky beauty items that you rarely use either under the cupboard in trays, bags or boxes to keep out of the way and yet still organized and easy to find when you need them.
  • Store your more regularly used beauty products on a shelf – a Top Shelf is great for this. ¬†It’s out of theway, and easy to reach, and it forces you to only keep so much at a time – making you periodically have to go through your items to put away things you don’t use anymore, or throw away old bottles.
  • The hardest thing for me to keep on top of is dust getting on the things that are on the counter top itself, even the flowers. ¬†Either weekly or monthly, depending on how much dust you collect in your house, try to just dust off the key pieces. ¬†It’s hard for me to notice when it’s building up, so having a somewhat steady time when I dust there is better overall.
  • USE WINDEX! ¬†In this age of the Selfie, how many girls and young women do you see posting up selfies with dirty mirrors? ¬†Men actually make fun of this phenomenon, that the girl is so narcissistic that she’s focusing so much on herself, that she can’t see that the mirror itself is dirty, giving the photo a horrible overall look. ¬†Use Windex once a week when doing your regular bathroom cleaning duties, it makes it so much more beautiful to have clean mirrors rather than dingy ones.

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We all try to look our best when out in public.  Single women especially, try to look polished.  But a truly polished young woman will care about the little details of her home, and work to keep even her counter tops clean and organized.

It all basically comes down to being clean and organized.

Men appreciate this, much more than society tells us.  So enjoy the beauty and peace of a clean, elegant space!

Morning Adventures

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Yesterday morning, we went for a walk at one of our old haunts and favorite places. ¬†It’s an outdoor mall in our city that I’ve been coming to for years. ¬†The mall actually had it’s opening day on my birthday back in 2005, and has a rich history of our particular romance & love story.

It was a nice, cooler-than-it-looked day, and the beauty of the surroundings, especially in the late morning lighting, was just captivating to me. ¬†You’d think after so many years, it would feel too familiar, but the familiarity seems to only endear me to it even more so.

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I think it’s good to get kids out to see the beauty of nature, whether it’s hiking, swimming in a lake or the ocean, walking on a trail or the beach, it’s just one of those things that replenishes my own joy and happiness… but seeing them enjoy it – seeing the baby captivated by the different sounds and sights of nature, is really incredible!

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The flowers everywhere still in bloom, the greenery, the vines cascading down from the roofs of the buildings… just a breathtaking place to be in the morning. ¬†Definitely changes one’s attitude or mood if needed.

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I was talking to a sweet, older gentleman yesterday about how we’re having such a late fall here in Texas. ¬†Everything still looks slightly like Summer, but we’re enjoying the cooler weather, me in particular, getting to wear sweaters and boots finally.

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I loved seeing this couch with the holiday pillows and wine glasses.  Reminds me of Christmas and cocktail parties that come in December.

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This red chair, along with the holiday pillow, makes it’s own statement. ¬†So much style.

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And then we went to our favorite cooking store, when you open the doors, the intoxicating smell of delicious foods overwhelm you for a moment and leave your mouth watering.

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This woman was in the middle of cooking a delicious turkey meal, giving us some samples of Thanksgiving delights for a quick brunch.

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We have a special area my older son always loved to go see, it has clocks that tell the time of different places around the world. ¬†We used to love going to the section and staring at the different times, and I’d explain to him what the people were probably doing in that part of the world – sleeping, eating dinner, or just waking up! ¬†It was a romantic exercise ūüôā

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I’m using my father’s camera now. ¬†My mom thought it was a good idea to give it to me since he hasn’t (and probably won’t) be ever using it again. ūüė• ¬†It took me a while before even wanting to take it out of the box. It’s a nice camera… but using it was an admission that there’s something really wrong with him, that he’s not the same as he used to be.

It does take better pictures than my old one, and maybe a part of him can be memorialized in the beauty it captures. ¬†But it’s still a tragic change to me.

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