Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On Freedom. And Farm Kitchens.

Can I just tell you how blown away I am over your kindness and sisterhood regarding my last post? There was a bit of deliberation over whether or not I would leave comments open on that one. The fear was that I would somehow end up being praised, or that it'd leave me with some sort of weird pride, or (and this one was mine) that haters would show up in droves.

When it comes to really BIG posts, I often seek advice from a trusted few, and in this case, I went against their popular opinion. I left the comments open, and I had my reasons. The main reason? You. Me. You + Me. You + You. We're a community here. A neighborhood. And I love sitting back and watching you love each other well. We do that by sharing. By opening up. By loving one another the best way we can. By giving the credit to God, the only one who makes us worthy and whole. The point of my post - all my posts - is that silence keeps us apart. I wasn't concerned about the pride thing, because honestly, I'm just barely on this side of shame. (All I could think (with a grin) to that concern was, "You've obviously never been through this." :) ) Plus, as my friend Jami so wisely put it, "The pride's already in us." Good grief. Stick a fork in me with that truth. I sadly don't need blog comments to keep my pride fat and happy. It's in me, wedged in with a bunch of other crap. It exists and even thrives entirely apart from you, apart from this blog, apart from my wonky reputation or anything else. I'm human, so it's just here.

Mostly-mostly, I wanted all of the other Me's out there to read your words. I wanted them to see the love poured out to me, because it also flows to them by default (just as all our judgmental words about other people's sin hits those struggling with similar sin square in the heart, but that's another post.) This is a community rich with support, truth, and grace. I'm more honored than ever to call you mine.

Moving on!


We got home an hour or so ago after being gone for five days, on this, December 30th, and I immediately did the following:
1) Wanted to drop kick our Marilyn Monroe-shaped Christmas tree
2) Had the random urge to rip a non-Christmas related wreath off the toy room wall
3) Unpacked my entire suitcase (this is legendary. it usually takes 2-5 days.)
4) Put steel cut oats in the slow cooker for tomorrow because all I've eaten for 2 weeks is crack bark and tortilla chips
5) Wrote a meal plan - heavy on the veggies (see above)
6) Vowed to spend Friday cleaning and organizing the basement

Could I possibly be more predictable? Should I go ahead and sleep in a sports bra so I'm that-much-readier to exercise in the morning? Should I start smoking tonight so I can quit tomorrow and round this whole thing out?

I'm just ready for a fresh start. In almost all the ways. Or at least half of them.

I didn't really plan my BIG HAIRY DEAL post as a "Fresh start" sort of post, but hot dang, I feel so FREE!!!!!!!!!!!! And now I'd like my house to be free of all of Scandinavia, my kitchen to be free of any chocolate less than 70% cocoa, my waist to be free of the current bondage of my formerly "best fitting" jeans, and my floors to be free of every Lego and every Rainbow loom band. Selah.

Related: Silas received the following for Christmas from various sources: 1 extension cord, 1 "disco ball that goes in the bath tub", 1 table-top disco ball lamp, 1 set of water/light speakers, 1 goose neck desk lamp, 2 reels of ACTUAL outdoor Christmas lights, and 1 clamp-on light with a remote control that changes THE COLOR OF THE BULB.

Help me, Rhondas.

Actually, this might calm us all down a bit:

This is my old kitchen, back on the farm.
Some of you recognize it. Hi, old kitchen! You're so clean and oddly sterile! In this exact moment, I miss you a little!

I recently had the opportunity to write a buyer's guide for Ebay on how to decorate/renovate a home on the cheap. This was a no-brainer for me, because most of the kitchen was bought on Ebay. True story.

They paid me to write said buyer's guide, and I'm not supposed to blog about it, but it seemed timely, like maybe some of you are feeling the urge to sweep everything into the garbage and start over. If that's you, have a look. It was fun to write something in a totally different style and super fun to remember those days of yore.

(I remember this day so clearly. I looked out from the bathroom and got so lovey-dovey about the view that I grabbed the camera. Not gonna lie, life was peaceful back then...)

(Help! I'm feeling nostalgic and coveting peonies in late December!!!!!)

Speaking of nostalgia, this popped up when I was searching for old kitchen photos:

Oh my gosh. Stop it. This was taken in my parents' kitchen. My childhood home! In Spring!
He had a faux hawk! He was eating one of those sick, grimy biscuit/dog treats!
This was probably within a couple months of bringing him home!


I really need to stop while I'm only this far behind.
I still have an entire day left of 2014. Who knows what might happen!

 *To see the original post I wrote about the farm kitchen (back in 2009!), click here.


  1. ....then there is the boy who grew up in our house and would turn on the shower and sit on the toilet lid fully clothed in his PJ's and read a book.....looking up the stairs we could see his feet under the bathroom door crack.....his wife can deal with him now and she is good at it!

  2. WOW! With one day left in 2014, I am holding my breath to see what else comes over you! Hope it's good so we can read about it!!!!!! :-) Hope it involves salsa and and some yummy new food!

  3. usually i am annoyed by people using absurd amounts of exclamation points in their writing. but it all felt appropriate here :) i didn't comment on your last post (i think i was pulled away by a child) but want to let you know the whole thing was beautiful and yet another story that points us all back to the Redemption Story and His place to rescue us from ourselves. Thanks for being brave and sharing :)

    1. Thank you for acknowledging that there was really no other way.... :)


  4. Happy New Year, Shannan, to you and your family. May it hold unexpected blessings, in unexpected places.

  5. Girlfriend. I am so in love with you. I LOL so much at the stinky feet, teeth line that my entire family came running. truth. They found me laugh/crying. I explained this post to my kids (and the previous to my hubby). I am so there. Nostalgic for the peaceful life of old, but counting my blessings. I've had a rough last almost 4 months... Fighting my own bad attitude over a prolly nuthing health scare... So nice to stop in here and feel normal and understood. Thanks for sharing the love (and honesty)!!! You are a tremendous blessing to me! Wishing you a New Year full of great health n happiness friend.

  6. I'm kind of in love and a non weird way with that beautiful spotless kitchen. Waking up to that every day would make me giddy.

  7. Why do kids do that? They act like just brushing their teeth will kill them.

  8. Well since I tried to comment on the previous post the other day and it disappeared into thin air, I'll comment here. I love your old kitchen. But I love where you live now! All your photos are inspiring. And yes to all of the above about eating junk for two weeks and now forcing steel cut oats and veggies on everyone. I'm there. But also, thank you for sharing your heart on the big hard post. I just love how you share something so hard and difficult and still we see you falling into the arms of a gracious Saviour, and it only inspires and encourages me to take my sin there, at the cross and dump it there and trust Jesus. Oh my goodness we all have dirty little secrets that we feel are unsafe for anyone else to know,but bringing it into the light is a true life expression of the light we find in Christ--in Him is no darkness. So thank you. I love how you value this community. And sharing, and learning and growing together.

  9. Shannen. I was so touched by your previous post I had to think on my response. You are the most human person I know, I believe, no pretense, nothing hidden and a blessing to so many of us. I can see you trying to live as God wants us to live. That's the most we can do. Love you and your whole gang. Happy New Year.

  10. Your my favorite blogger - my human, flawed, transparent blogger - I look forward to your blog every day - not that it comes every day - not hating. I think your clean kitchen looks so beautiful - but not my human, flawed, transparent blogger's kitchen - even if it is a former kitchen.... and then they go to the dentist and look at your like wha ... what? I brush my teeth - oh, ya for suresey

  11. I love that old kitchen of yours. Not gonna lie, I was kinda mad at you for moving. I get it now but way back then I was like "Whaaaat are you thinking?". It was so pretty. But I do love your little house now too so you know, I got over it.
    Other random comments
    1. Mike and I talked about the starting to smoke so we can stop and actually succeed at a New Year's resolution thing.
    2. I bought a disco ball for our New Year's Eve party. My boys think it's the best thing they've ever seen. Send Silas over for a dance party anytime.
    3. The stinky feet and teeth lying made me laugh out loud (still have never used the popular acronym for that phrase) because I have that times three! Why are boys so gross?

  12. Brave and beautiful.

  13. I needed this, thank you. I hadn't read the previous, yet, but I needed these pictures, that memory. Even before I read the previous. The memory that calms. that happy place. I remember where I was when you lived there. -- You are so brave. I think you just ranked she-ro. Yes, you did. Thank you for sharing, baby pictures, dark shadows, joy. Thank you.

  14. I have so loved reading your blog after my sister in Wakarusa told me about you last year! I have appreciated your honesty your sense of humor have loved your recipes (I made your salsa tonight and my daughter and I decided that it was as good as my fresh salsa recipe after inhaling a bowl of it with chips!) but your love for your sisterhood and love for Jesus is what keeps me coming back. God bless you and your hubby and your beautiful kiddos this new year!!