Snapshots & Snippets Time Management, Simplifying, Organizing

Snapshots & Snippets: Considering Hospitality, Simplifying and Purpose

collageWelcome to “Snapshots and Snippets” … some musings and practical thoughts along with goodies from around the web to bless and encourage you.

 {life on purpose}

I had the blessed opportunity to get away to the coast this past weekend {or a lifetime ago, so it seems now that I’m officially back in the day-to-day of living}.  I gained so much refreshement and perspective while I was away – and enjoyed a little kayaking in the bay, some walks on the beach and some delicious organic tea with warm cookies from the local bakery.  I think my mentor summed it up when she said, “It’s almost like we wouldn’t sin if we could live like that – no one around to bug us or put demands on us, no agenda but our own.”  Exactly.  Apparently my destiny does not include snappy sanctification via a life of full-time leisure on the beach.  I have to go about this growing up in Jesus thing the hard and long way. 

Kayak View

Still, the time away gave me some gifts and one of those was the ability to get a bird’s eye view of my life here at home.  Probably you are like me, having aspirations or goals, yet the daily urgency of most of what goes on around you keeps those just out of reach.  I’m not even mentioning the constant allure of whatever app is buzzing on our cell phones to distract us from what could be more meaningful in our midst.  I took advantage of being away to intentionally not think, plan, prepare.  By giving space to what usually consumes my attention, a part of my brain did some creative thinking.  Towards the end of the weekend I had some clarity about how I want to live more “on purpose.” – you know, those “when I look back over my life …” kinds of purposes that you just don’t want to have missed.  Bucket lists.  Yes.  I don’t usually give you links to articles and other goodies til the end of my Snapshots & Snippets, but today, I have to just do it.  {Pardon the inadvertent Nike slogan}  Even if you don’t home educate, Kari Patterson’s article on three basic questions to ask yourself was so compelling to me.   Living life on purpose means living life so our priorities are at the center of what we do.  Purposeful living involves grabbing the heart of what matters and putting it where it belongs. Click To Tweet

Kayak Selfie

Can I just say, taking a selfie in a kayak is no small task! … Bonus, there were sweet little otters all through the bay. I got about 4 feet from a few of them. Made my day!


{morning run}

Thanks to a neighbor who also home educates, my youngest son and I are joining her for a jog twice a week {while our two boys bike and her girls ride in the jog stroller}.  I love being outdoors while the air is cool.  Having a running buddy helps immensely.  I am always astonished when we hit the 1.25 mile mark and I don’t feel wiped out at all.  We sweat, chat, and delight in the children as they spot things in nature and we start the day with movement and fellowship.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  I mentioned to some friends that I felt like a rockstar – then toned it down to a coffee house singer on a Tuesday night.  Either way, I’m loving it and so is my son.  


{organizing and simplifying}

Guess what!  My Erin Condren planner {the one I mentioned two weeks ago} came in the mail!  It was so fun to open it and get busy decorating and filling it in.  Since I home educate, I got the teacher planner, but I’m using it as a life planner too.  I kind of like everything in one place – I’m a one stop-shopper when it comes to planning.  If you want to see pics of how I modified the planner to work for me, go here.  I didn’t want to bore all of you with the details, but I know some of you planner addicts will love looking.  In the near future I may end up doing a video of the way I’m using my planner and how I’ve made improvements to meet my needs.  I’ll keep you posted.

Planner Spread



A few years ago {six!} my family had the privilege of serving some dear people from Rwanda while they were in the U.S. so that the wife/mom could receive breast cancer treatment.  That dear sister of mine passed away six months ago.  To say these people are my family is an understatement.  I long to go to them, serving in Youth for Christ on a short-term trip someday {the husband/father directs YFC Rwanda}.  They made their way over here to the states this past week and we hosted a little reception for them at the home of a friend.  Many people I haven’t seen in years came together to bless and hear from this family.   The picture of me with all the kids {including my own and some neighbors who lived right near our African friends for the year they were here} cracks me up because I’m one of the shorter people in the photo.  It’s not hard to be taller than I am – just funny when I’m in a group of children that I still am in want of a step stool.  My heart was full to overflowing the night we gathered.  I’m praying for God to send me to them next.



{gathering at the table}

Speaking of “purposeful” living, I found some gems for you on the web this week.  Both these posts inspired me to rethink how we draw people into our home and how often we are able to gather at the table for a meal.  As the children age, more time gets spent running here and there.   How do we cultivate gathering at the table?  How do we make that time memorable, special and engaging?  I’m sure I’ll write more about this one Wednesday on my parenting posts.  For now, enjoy these two links.  With or without children in your home, you will want to consider hospitality, what it means and how you live it out in your home and life.  I loved how Susan Shipe lays out a history of the table in the Bible and points us to Jesus’ way of reclining at the table with people whom He loved.  Denise Hughes lets us off the hook about having to have all our ducks in a row before we initiate having people over to our home.  You have to hear the part about ginger!   

I do love hearing from you.  Makes my day, honestly.  Whether you stop me when we bump into one another or you leave a comment here or on the Hearts Homeward Facebook page, I just love knowing that what I write blessed you, encouraged you or even challenged you.  My series on Distorted Images of God has more posts coming.  This week’s parenting post was on refreshment and taking time away to recharge.  If you’d like to receive my posts in your inbox, feel free to sign up using the form on the sidebar … right over there … see it?  Yep.  That’s the one. 

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