A Crafter’s Dilemma

I am embarking on a massive spring cleaning at the oasis this year, and it involves decluttering and some simplifying.  For inspiration, I think I might re-read Organized Simplicity*.  It is a handy little book that is full of not-particularly-new-to-me information but I always get excited to clean out surplus stuff when I pick it up.

It seems like everywhere I look I find articles, books, and discussions about simple living.  This idea is immediately appealing to me and I love the thought of having less to keep and take care of.  The typical crafter’s dilemma is that I have supplies and idea books and magazines aplenty full of potential.  This makes for a lot of visual and physical clutter which creates in my home what has to be exactly the opposite of an “Oasis.”

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One of my “inspiration” stacks.*

The first planned stop on my spring clean out is going to be magazines.  I have kept many of these for years (yes, that top one is from 2006) for inspiration, recipes and ideas.  I still have a big binder to hold samples and paint chips, etc., for the projects that are actually in process.  One of the nice things about the modern age, though, is that now I can digitally record the things I like in these magazines on the same computer I use to plan designs, crafts, and home updates.  I like to use Plan to Eat for recipes (most magazines have a website where they post their recipes).  I will use Pinterest and other online tools for home improvement and craft ideas.  I am still a little old fashioned when it comes to design, so those are still on grid paper in a binder, but at least it’s just one binder.

My hope is that by reducing the clutter our minds can relax, our bodies can rest better and we can truly find the oasis at home that I am trying to create for my family and visitors.

*Country Home Magazine is published by Meredith Publishing Group.  They do not endorse nor are they affiliated with this website or blog.  All Amazon links are affiliate links.

Why I Still Love Knights in Shining Armor

I can still remember the jingle.

We girls can do anything!  Right, Barbie?

When I was little girl, Mattel® marketed Barbie as the new power woman-she could be anything and everything.  My generation of women owned the slogan, even if they didn’t own Barbies, and ran with it for all its worth and then some.  We became Astronauts, Soldiers, Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Managers and followed so many career paths that had once been closed to women.  I went to college and beyond and got lots of learning.  I am a reasonably capable person.  And I still love knights in shining armor.  I love the stories where the main character gets rescued before the final credits and everyone (except maybe the bad guy/girl) lives happily ever after.

So why would a woman who is able-bodied and capable still want a knight in shining armor?  I can think of several reasons.

I have boys and I want them to appreciate the heroic.  I want them to recognize heroes when they see them and to be willing to do heroic things.  They will come across many things that are dangerous and evil in this world and I want them mentally and emotionally equipped to do the right thing.  Stories that encompass rescuing friends in distress and princesses in the tower have deep lessons about struggling against what is wrong to help those who need us.  They give us language and parallels for teaching about righting modern wrongs in the modern world in a way that many boys will naturally listen.

I want my children (and myself) to understand that even capable people still need help sometimes and part of maturity is asking for help when you need it.  Another part is paying attention and being available to do what you can when you see a need.  I can do many things, and my kids know this, but I sometimes can’t get a lug nut off of the car because it’s too tight.  I need help from someone who is physically stronger or who has a tool I don’t have.  I want them to see that the heroic can be present in the everyday by offering help.  It might be in opening a door for someone whose hands are full.  This applies even if it is a girl, so ye feminists, please let my kids help if you can stand to.  They are not saying they think you can’t do it, they are saying they would like to be helpful.

I never want to forget that no matter what skills I (or they) learn, I still need rescuing.  If I remember this well, I can also teach my children.  Girl power and superhero power pales in the light of Jesus’ power.  I can learn many things, get advanced degrees and be a human hero (or not), but I can never save myself from my sin.  I have a flawed human nature that messes up and needs rescuing.  And my knight in shining armor is a Prince of Peace who died for my sins.

Blessings!

Jen

*Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc, who is not connected with this blog.  I did love Barbies as a kid, though.