Good Friday

Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks of the liturgical year. It’s filled with sadness, loss, grief……but, also, hope. I can’t go through a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service without crying. The Lenten season was when my daughter first received communion. It’s when I’m reminded that it’s my sins that nailed Him to the cross.But, oh, the hope. The hope and good news that it did not end in death but in life. The hope that, while we grieve today, Sunday is coming. The stone will be rolled away, and the tomb will be empty. Death will not defeat Him.

I also love Holy Week because of the tradition it’s saturated in. Growing up in a Catholic/Methodist household (and now raising our children in one), I was exposed to various traditions but one god. The differences are very, very subtle. I’ve been asked recently what Holy Week is all about. It’s about the remembrance of the sacrifice that was given for you and for me. It’s the final preparation of our hearts for the coming of Easter, as we’ve been preparing since Ash Wednesday.

Maundy Thursday remembers the Last Supper, with Jesus and His disciples. At St. James last night, the feet of 12 attendees were washed by the priest, something that I’ve seen at Methodist services, as well. We partake in communion and leave somberly, acknowledging what happened on that Good Friday so long ago.

Today is Good Friday, and today across the world, His death is remembered. We remember the betrayal of Judas. We remember his forgiveness of the sinner on the cross next to him. We remember His words of “it is finished” and His side that was pierced.

It was as if the world was left with no hope. Today we mourn but never forget. Sunday is coming.

How To Make A Bed

I hope this title doesn’t throw everyone off too much. If you’re a parent like me, anything your littles do to even attempt making their bed is a wonderful thing. However, I also know that we often have guests in our home. Aside from a clean bathroom (which I talk about here, here and here), a well-made bed is a way to make someone truly comfortable in your home.

                   A well-made bed

Clean sheets and linens are a must if you’re having a guest stay over. Going one step further, though, can make a very big impression.This week at cotillion, the students were taught how to correctly make a bed. First, the fitted sheets covers the mattress pad. Then, the flat sheet (also called a top sheet) is placed patten side down. If it’s a solid color, the finished side (look for the stitches along the edge) are face down. When you turn down the bed, the sheets are shown correctly.

Sheets facing down when making the bed

 

Next, any other blanket or comforter is pulled up to cover the sheet. Pillows made be added to your heart’s desire. Ideally, each pillow will have two cases, or a protector (my personal preference) and a case so that the pillow itself is never exposed.

      The start of a turned down bed

 

Finally, turn down the bed before your guests enter so they are welcomed by a comforting, beautiful bed.

Learning To Say “No” Gracefully

No one enjoys being rejected. For me, I hate letting anyone down. I have a tendency to say “yes” to everything. I do truly enjoy volunteering and being involved, but I have always felt the pressure to say “yes.” In fact, someone onced asked my husband if there was anything I didn’t do, to which he replied, “Say no.”

Knowing how to say no gracefully can be tricky, but I think it’s a vital skill to hone. It is a skill you’ll use for the remainder of your days. Something has recently come to my mind that has helped me in learning how and when to say no.

“When we say ‘yes’ to something, we are saying ‘no’ to something else.” – Emily Glass

We are all given a finite amount of time on earth. I’ve often mentioned being good stewards of our money and things. However, being good stewards of our time is even more important. So, when we say “yes” to something, we are saying “no” to something else. What that “something else” is will vary by person.

It may be that we are saying no to more family time. It may be that we’re saying no to more peace. Whatever it is, by realizing that, we are better able to prioritize our time. The desire to say no to the lesser important things grows within us.

So, how can we gracefully say no?

  1. Remember that you never owe anyone an explanation. Simply say that you’re unable to.
  2. If you feel like you need to expand, keep your explanation honest. No one deserves to be lied to.
  3. Thank the person for thinking of you. You must have the trait(s) they’re looking for. It was considerate of them to ask.
  4. Offer an alternative. It might be another person or you may be able to commit to a lesser amount of time.

You are ultimately responsible for your time and will encounter many occasions where you’ll need to know how to say no. I hope today’s post encouraged you! If you have suggestions on other ways to say no gracefully, I’d love to hear it! Thank you for reading!

Spring Evenings

One of my favorite things about spring is the longer evenings. Yes, I know we don’t really “gain” or “lose” an hour during time changes. However, it being light outside at 8pm is wonderful to me. I got in a bad habit during the winter of rarely going outside, even on mild days.

One of my goals for spring is to venture outside more often and to spend that time as a family. What we do together doesn’t have to be complicated. My goal is to just spend more time outdoors as a family. This past weekend my husband and I enjoyed sitting outside together playing cribbage while our kids picked me the perfect wildflower (weeds) bouquet.I love raising children to be givers. They were both so proud of this bouquet and enjoyed finding more “flowers” to add to it.

Earlier in the day, the kids and I made a delicious batch of double fudge brownies from scratch. They are heavenly. If you don’t brown your butter before making brownies, let me encourage you to start doing so!

To go with it, we made a batch of homemade hot fudge!

This is the easiest, most delicious hot fudge I’ve ever eaten. It’s slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s version . However, I added about two or three tablespoons of sweet milk (regular cow’s milk) to thin it just enough for my preference. Also, I did it on the stove instead of the microwave. It just always seems more “homemade” that way. Yes, I know it’s just sweetened condensed milk with chocolate chips and in no actual way “truly” homemade. Let me enjoy my moment. 🙂

We warmed our brownies slightly, added Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla (a must) on top and poured on our hot fudge. Then the kids decorated theirs with sprinkles while Garrett and I topped ours with raspberries. Such a perfect dessert. I hope you get an opportunity to try this! It’s a great solution for an easy dessert when you have last-minute guests. Enjoy!

The Texas Dip

Everything really is bigger in Texas, including our curtsies. In Cotillion and Junior Cotillion, I teach the female students a traditional curtsy, which is where the person firmly plants their left foot on the ground while bringing their right foot behind their left foot. the knees are bent, and the person stands straight again. Especially given their age, this is a very appropriate curtsy.

However, at the International Debutante Ball, which is considered the most prestigious ball of its kind, debutantes from Texas perform the Texas Dip, as shown in the picture. As you can see, this requires a great deal of balance and flexibility. It is, however, quite graceful when completed. Debutantes are generally around 18-20 years of age and have completed multiple year of Cotillion courses.

Debutante balls are a fun tradition that I’m happy to bring to Sulphur Springs. Were you a debutante? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Thank you for reading!