Friday, August 27, 2010


Our apartment is filled with windows. There is no need for any lights to be switched on during the day because the sunlight streams in at any given hour.  Most people love the idea of having windows illuminating their homes, but for me this is a real problem, particularly when it comes to the kitchen window.  I prefer to keep the blinds down until dusk, because if left open the sun floods the kitchen and living area with its bright rays.

I pull them shut.

Larry pulls them open.

I shut.

He opens.


I know how much Larry loves letting in the natural sunlight.  He loves to open windows too, without screens on, but that's another story. I love the idea of having them open too. Really, I do. I think about all those little cottages in my favorite magazines and how the sunlight burst through the window panes just like so, with subtle sun flare illuminating the golden retriever laying on their spotless white rug.

But when I open the blinds, the sun exposes...

Dust that gathers on the end table.

Dog hair that clings to the sofa.

Streaks that miraculously appear on the refrigerator.

Crumbs that surface on the counter tops.

Sneaky cob webs crafted in the corner.

A tile floor that suddenly needs to be mopped.

Fabric that has begun to fade.

Quite simply, a home that has been lived in.

While most people cheer for daylight savings time, I hate the idea of having a home lit up until nine o'clock in the evening.  That's just more hours that I need to keep those drapes pulled closed.  Once the sun passes over that last hill in the west, I can draw back the drapes, pull open the dusty blinds, and enjoy the house filled with dim lamps and soft candle light.  Each room has a lamp in my house.  Some have three. I would continue to buy more, but my sweet husband has put his foot down.

Just like that, I feel better.  I look around the house and it looks calm and cozy.  There is no evidence of my housekeeping failures, no smudges to attend to, and no more work to be done. Seemingly anyway. 


Is this what I do with my Jesus?

For it says (ESV):
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. Psalm 90:8
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:19-20
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible... Ephesians 5:13
Too often I ask the Lord for revelation afresh.  I ask for more of His light in my life.  But His light reveals my wickedness and sin.  And so I picture this...

He swings wide the drapes of  my heart.

I shut them.

He opens.

I shut.


I don't shut Him out because I desire less of Him in my life.  Not at all.  In fact it's quite the opposite.  But that light of His just makes me look so messy.  And that mess compels me to jump up and start cleaning. No time for rest here.  Dust this. Mop that. Sweep there. Bleach everywhere.

Oh, how He's teaching me to stop looking at how the Light makes me look a mess. The Light is not about me at all. It's about Him. And how in spite of all of my measly efforts to keep things clean and pristine, I can't. I just can't. And so, if I will just be willing to sit still long enough to rest while the Light streams in, I may just be so overcome by the Light that all of the crumbs and cob webs begin to disappear. Or at least they will no longer define me.

Now, about those blinds in the kitchen...

May His Light burst forth for you and I both.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Monday, August 23, 2010

Causey Tips and Tricks

One of the things that I love about being married (but certainly not limited to being married) is determining what works for our family.  We strive to use as many organic and natural home remedies as possible, but I will be the first to tell you that we are not rigid about this. So please, no need to point out that I seem inconsistent because I desire to eat organic chicken, but have no problem gulping down a large soda. :)

I want to share some of the things that we do or use regularly in our home.  I hope that you will also share tips and tricks that you and your family practice. I have too many to share all at one time, so I will start with just a few.

White Vinegar 
We use white vinegar to clean just about anything! Counter tops, sinks, toilets and tile floors.  It is a great natural cleaner, free of chemicals and odor absorbing.  It does have a pungent smell but it does not last too long and as mentioned before, it actually removes bad odors. 

Olive Oil  
I use this as a hair conditioner weekly.  Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to wet hair and put in plastic cap for 30 minutes.  Then rinse with tepid water and shampoo (may need to shampoo a couple of times). You can also use any leftover oil to moisturize your body, to shave your legs or to soften chapped lips.

In an attempt to save money and reduce the number of chemicals in our home, I use cinnamon (sticks or ground) to fragrance our home.  Just simmer water and cinnamon to make your house smell like fresh baked goodies.  You can also add nutmeg and cloves to alter scent. Though I like this smell, I would love to find other natural options.  If you have any affordable suggestions, please let me know!

Weleda Skin Food 
I adore this body creme!  The scent is a little more citrusy than I would prefer, but it works so well, I don't care.  It's also little pricey for what I use as a body lotion, but it does such a great job at keeping your body hydrated without harsh chemicals that I think it's worth the price.  

Home-Made Deodorant 
Yes, I make my own deodorant and I think it works better than any store-bought product out there. It's simple to make, last a long time and it's super cost effective. Here is how to make it:
1/4 c Corn Starch 
1/4 c Baking Soda
5-6 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil (you will need to sit jar in a pan of hat water to liquefy. Mash all ingredients together until it's mixed together and then let harden in fridge in either a wax mold or travel dish.

You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you prefer some scent. 

Okay, that's enough for tonight.  I am sleepy! Soon I will share about plopping, homemade carpet stain remover (puppy pee anyone?), and ways to avoid bottled water.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

House of God

This morning I read Tullian Tchidjian's blog and was challened by one of his four-part blog post. He writes:
In the opening verses of Isaiah 6, what the prophet encounters first in the house of God is the glory of God: “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple” (v.1). It doesn’t first say he encountered well-dressed people or hot coffee or influential power brokers or a booming sound system or a great organ. What he caught site of first was God’s glory.

There’s a growing trend in some churches to offer door prizes to any returning visitor. One church visited recently by a friend of mine promised him a ten-dollar Starbucks gift card if he came back the following week.

Isaiah shows us the door prize that awaited him when he walked into the house of God—the uncomfortable, wrecking presence of God’s glory: “Woe is me!” (v.5).
To read his entire blog entry, go here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heaven Came Down

Yesterday morning, Jesus carried Walker Jack Rainey home to heaven. 

Soon after Walker was diagnoised with a rare and aggressive tumor, the Rainey family contacted our agency to discuss needs for childcare.  I was instantly drawn to the family and the way that Chad spoke of his son, their plan of action, and most of all their faith in a good God. I met with the family in person to discuss their needs and I even entertained the idea of a way to help this family myself seeing that they lived so close by to my home. Walker was deemed precious in my sight from the moment I layed eyes on him and it was obvious that his parents swelled with infectious pride. I have since watched Walker's blog closesly, always waiting for the day that Chad and Missy would announce that he was set free from cancer.

I had always hoped that "free" would be here among the land of the living.  But nonetheless, today Walker is indeed set free.

And Chad and Missy's faith in Jesus continues to inspire and wreck me.

To read more about Walker's ridiculously beautiful and fruitful life, go here. I believe that their faith will leave you changed.

Please pray for the family's healing and that Jesus will be ever near in their darkest hour.

Beauty for ashes, Lord. Beauty for ashes...

**The first song now playing on my playlist is Held, by Natalie Grant. These lyrics are some of the only words that seem to come to my mind and lips when I think about the loss of the Rainey family. **