Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More Hygge (Hoo-gah) and the Attitude of Gratitude

This is the "turkey" vegetable platter my daughter made for out Thanksgiving.



Before I share my "Dealing and Healing" post I wanted to slip this one in on Thanksgiving.  First of all, I hope you all had a very blessed one, full of family, food, fun and hygge (hoo-gah) I also, hope you spent some time meditating on the many things you have to be thankful for , thanking the Lord for all your blessings.
Hygge (hoo-gah)  the reason I keep showing you the pronunciation of hygge (hoo-gah) is because I want you to say the word in your head not just see it because it's so much fun to say, "Hoo-gah.  Hoogah." Go ahead say it out loud, "Hoo-gah".  Fun right? 
Anyway, Thanksgiving is a very hygge (hoo-gah) kind of day.  We spend it celebrating with family and friends over a delicious meal( in which normally many have contributed),we decorate, share our blessings and talk.  We may play games or go for walks or watch movies and/or sports together.  We did all these things at our Thanksgiving and it was a great time.

Setting the atmosphere,  and participating in hygge  type of activities is something we do naturally on Thanksgiving.  It's the way we make it a special day. but these are things we should try to include in our every day lives to make them special as well.  Maybe not do everything at once, like we do on Thanksgiving. But hygge is a lifestyle and how we celebrate Thanksgiving gives us examples of things we can create in our daily lives.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and the hygge factor is a big reason why but let's not lose one of the most important things about it in all this hygge (though it is really a part of hygge). Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks (hence the name), it's about the attitude of gratitude.  It is a time to pause from our busy lives and meditate and reflect on all the good things our Lord has provided us (our families, friends, whatever good health we might posses, shelter, food, love). We should all go to God in prayer and thank Him for our lives all the comforts and joys He supplies.

As with hygge, thankfulness should be something else that we should work on a daily basis, not just on Thanksgiving.  Think of how much better our days would be if we focused on our blessings and gratefulness rather than on complaining and discontentment.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”
 ~William A. Ward

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Sad and the Bad...

Where I Was.
Four months ago, you would have found me to be quite a different person if you could see through the facade I tried to keep up.
My physical, mental ,emotional and spiritual selves were deteriorating. I was in such a state that it took all I had to live a bare minimum life.
I was tired (suffering insomnia), depressed, anxious, living in a thick brain fog, thirty pounds overweight and suffering with intense migraines with great frequency.  I was not a happy girl.
And if that wasn't hard enough, there was the tremendous guilt for not doing all the things I felt I should be.  There was guilt because I felt I was a bad wife because I leaned too hard and too often on my husband.  Guilt for being a bad mom because I had so little to give my girls and they at times ended up giving to me and or doing for themselves.  Guilt because I was a whiny daughter.  Guilt because I was a bad church member. I barely got to church because of the migraines and depression.  Guilt because I was a bad Christian because of poor church attendance and I was having a hard time reading my Bible and praying.  Guilt because I was a bad friend.  And the list goes on....   That is a lot of guilt my friends.
Well, I would love to say that today I am guilt free and that I am completely better today.  I would like to say, I am never depressed, over anxious, never suffer insomnia, never have migraines, have become the best Christian wife, mother, family member, church member and friend that I can be, that I am the perfect weight. But that would be a lie.
But what I can say is that my quality of life has greatly improved in the last four months in all the areas I just mentioned.
How?  Why?  Tune in to my next post called , "Dealing and Healing" to find out.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to you view the women in the mirror?

    Hi! I was working on my next post and I was struggling a bit.  I discussed it with my husband and he thought I was trying to put too much in one piece.  I thought about what he said and agreed.  I decided I had enough material for 3 blog posts!  But I have been suffering with a migraine so I will have to rewrite and wait and post them  next week.
In the meantime the link above is a post I contributed to my friend's blog Jenny Ervin at A Mother's Heritage (A blog worth checking out!).  I think most of us mom's can relate to this piece.  Check it out and see if it resonates with you.   Click Here

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Hoo-gah. Excuse me?  No, I am not coughing or clearing my throat!  😏

Hoo-gah is the pronunciation of the Danish word "hygge".   I had never heard of "hygge" until a few days ago, when I read a book called, "The Cozy Life" by Pia Edberg.

"Hygge" according to Ms. Edberg is "the Danish concept of coziness...    ...the art of creating warmth, comfort, and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment, and surrounding yourself with the things you love."  (Think: candles, fireplaces, blankets, warm drinks, reading, playing board games, family meals, nature walks, letter writing)

I was thinking as someone who suffers from SAD (seasonal affective disorder: a type of depression that occurs with the change of season each year) or sometimes maybe it's just the "winter blues", that incorporating more of this concept in my life would be particularly helpful and cheering at this time.

I think some people ( I am thinking, specifically, of some dear Christian ladies I know) understand this concept innately and already include this way of living in their daily lives. Some of them when you walk into their homes you can just feel the coziness wrap around you like a warm hug.  Not because they own expensive things...generally its the opposite.  Its usually the slightly worn, older things, maybe handmade things that give the space it's charm.  They are not cluttered and more minimalistic.  They have things that they love and find beauty in.  

And while this is not a totally "new" concept to the rest of us, we all enjoy cozy, warm, quiet times and  things of beauty , we just have to work a little harder to create this kind of experience and atmosphere.  But doing these things and incorporating these things into our lives is not difficult.   It takes some thought and some discipline but I do believe the benefits are worth it. 

We had game night this past Saturday and it was fun and relationship building.  We had pizza and talked and laughed over the games.  Took a little (very little) planning and we had a and awesome hygge evening.   No electronics , just family, food and fun. 

When I homeschool with my daughter who is very nervous, I play soft instrumental music in the background and we do it in my bedroom where there is a lot of natural light and has a cozy feel to it.   And I try to bring a very patient and calming attitude.  All these things help make a supportive , hygge atmosphere for us to work in.

So, you can see even though I didn't know the Danish name for this concept I was already trying in some ways to have that "cozy" atmosphere in my home.  I definitely think I could do more though.  My house could use some more hygge.  And I would like cut down on my Internet time and spend more time with people in the flesh or write a real letter.   But again these are not difficult things but do require some planning.

I think this concept lends itself to a home that celebrates family and friends and that has more gratitude for the provisions and blessings that the Lord supplies. We focus more on God's creation and bounty then worldly preoccupations and entertainment.

So put away the iPhone, the Kindle (that's one of my hygge robbers), and turn off the computer.  Instead, light some candles, put on some soft music and then enjoy a homemade dinner with your family. Have a family game night with popcorn and hot cocoa. Or grab your favorite blanket, a hot cup of tea and read a good book.   Cook a big pot of soup and invite some friends over to help you eat it. Snuggle up with your husband in front of the fireplace and talk or just be quiet together. Read the Bible with your family.  Go outside and build a snowman and make snow angels, have a snowball fight.  Bring in pinecones to your house and enjoy the aroma.

As we face this cold, and darker season practice hygge to help you and your family fight the "blues".
What other things could you do to create hygge in your home?

    Bake a pie (or 2? or 3? or maybe 6 ?!?)                    Do you want to build a snowman?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Have a Blessed Lord's Day!



Saturday, November 11, 2017

First Post

Finding Joy in the Journey

Hi! My name is Jenn and I am starting this blog to share and encourage other woman on  the way.    I am almost 50 years old (in January) and I want to be fifty and fabulous!  I want to look good and feel good.  I want to be the best me possible, for my God, my family, my friends and for myself. 

I currently suffer depression (though it's less then it was), anxiety issues, and have chronic migraines.  I was 30 pounds overweight six months ago (now I am only 10) .   I tend to be a negative Nellie, the glass is half empty kinda gal. I tend to start things and never finish (fear of failure).   But it's time for a change.  It's time to "Find Joy in the Journey"   It's time to push forward and get out of my own way!  I want to celebrate this new  decade, this new time period, the beginning of the twilight of my life.

 I am a wife of 25 years,   and a mother to three beautiful girls.    My oldest two (one is 25, the other 20) were adopted.  My youngest is fifteen and currently homeschooled.   I am not employed but I am pretty busy with homeschooling and taking care of things around here.  Sometimes my migraines rob me of my time. 
I love to read, and I am currently trying other things on to see if they fit.  I just finished a beginner crochet class.  (I  really enjoyed it and hopefully continue to learn more and get better on my own.) Over the last few years I have developed a bigger interest in cooking.  I love looking on Pinterest for new recipes but I am also trying to develop my own recipes as well.   I have always wanted to be a writer and I am working on that (this blog).  And this week I took out 3 books from the library on learning how to draw. Just trying stuff out.
I am on a low carb diet and have started going to the gym and walking to lose the weight.   I have found that the diet and exercise has helped my mentally and has helped with my migraines.  I will be discussing my diet, exercise, books I am reading, new things I am trying out and bits and pieces of what's going on in my life in future blog posts.

 I am also hoping to meet some new friends here with other ladies who want to find the joy in the journey.