Admiration Monday: Vina of A Nourishing Home
Today I want to tell you about a woman who has constantly encouraged me over the past few months since I found her blog. So often when I read something Vina has written my heart and soul just sigh a deep, “YES!” I feel like I can relate to her on so many levels. Today I was reading the About page on her blog and all I could think as I read was, “I want to be her friend.” Do you ever meet someone and just feel right away that they are a long lost “bosom friend” as Anne would say, an “anamchara” (soul friend) as the Celtic saints of old would call it. I’ve never really met Vina, but that’s how I feel when I read her blog. We could be friends; I wish we were friends, and not just blogger friends. She’s one of a very small handful of bloggers who I would love to actually meet – sit across the table from and learn from in person. Although, honestly, I probably would feel way to intimidated to really meet her in person.
Vina inspires me. She is thoughtful, intentional, and intuitive. Her posts are beautiful, insightful, and intelligent. She writes with clarity and purpose. She is relatable and doesn’t hide her own insecurities, or struggles. She describes herself as a “domestically-challenged-freak-of-nature” who sometimes forgets to brush her teeth and “doesn’t really notice the dust that accumulates on top of [the] furniture.” Oh, how I can relate!
I can also deeply relate to how she describes her beliefs. I’ll let her say it because she says it so well:
I am a follower of Jesus, but I don’t readily identify with mainstream American Christianity, nor am I a huge fan of institutions and organized religions. I believe that there is more to be learned from each other, more Wisdom we can ever possibly possess if we venture out of the confines of Tradition. I am more an advocate of mothering from the heart and of listening to our children. I like the idea of growing through motherhood and marriage more than perfecting my roles in either. I advocate questions and doubts alongside faith and trust. I have a need to look to the Creator and his entire creation as my Guide. I am hopeful that I can live out the messiness of my life in a beautiful way. I trust in Redemption. I want to learn from Life with grace and humility.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Vina is also someone I feel I could learn a lot from. I feel like I can learn a lot from her parenting style, her writing style, her marriage, and all of the little stories she shares. I can relate to Vina in “my own little quiet introverted intuitive feeling perceptive way” but I also feel like she is a bit farther along in the journey than I am, so there’s so much that I can learn from her.
She has four words that guide what she writes about and that influence the journey of becoming that she is on. They are Simplicity, Authenticity, Creativity, and Generosity. Here’s what she has to say about each of them:
I’ve grown quite a lot in simplicity the past few years especially after having lived overseas during my post-college years. It’s also my natural bent because I am an idealist at heart and I seek after the essence of things. I want to cut through the fluff, get down to the core of Life and live from the Center. Back to the Simple and the Basics, that is all.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Authenticity is something I am just beginning to grasp on a heart level. I’ve always known the kind of person I am, but only recently am I becoming truly comfortable in my own skin. To truly embrace who I am, the good and bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Because I’m all those things.
“This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man.~ Hamlet, Shakespeare
Along with that is a rediscovery of my creativity, embracing the artist and the child in me who I have lost somewhere in life. When I participate in the act of creating, I come alive. Part of our calling as human beings is to add to the Beauty in this world.
“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” – Albert Einstein Generosity
And lastly, but not least is a journey towards generosity, an other-centered life. Simplicity, authenticity and creativity leads to abundance and when it overflows, it demands to be shared. I want our family to be a Life-giving force in this world. I am interested in looking at home management from a social justice and world perspective. How do our choices in our spending, eating and parenting affect the members of the bigger human family that we are all part of? How can we nourish our families in ways that are nourishing to the rest of the world as well?
“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(As a side note, just the fact that she included these quotes made me like her even more – I have a secret love for good quotes and have sort of collected them throughout the years).
Each of those words already had a special place in my heart before I ever discovered Vina’s blog and I really admire how she writes about them and the insight that she lends to them.
Last week Vina wrote this post about how she will be unplugging a bit for the summer. She has decided that she will be going “off the grid for the entire months of July and August except on Mondays.” On Mondays she’ll blog, comment, tweet, etc. But the rest of the summer she wants to spent time with her family and enjoy a little bit of an Internet Detox. I really admire this, and admire how she approaches unplugging for the summer. I so admire what she is doing for her heart and her family.
I unplugged from almost all social media and barely blogged at all through most of my pregnancy and firsts few months of motherhood. In many ways it was so good for me and exactly what I needed at that stage in my journey. But, lately, I’ve also been so glad to come back to it with full force.
I know from personal experience that when you don’t write often you start to lose traffic and subscribers. I don’t want that to happen to Vina and her beautiful blog. Vina is a writer who deserves to be read. So, even though she won’t be writing or commenting all that much this summer I really want to encourage all of my readers to go check out her blog. Look around, dig through her archives, read her about page, leave a comment, and SUBSCRIBE.
Vina is one of my all time favorite bloggers and I admire her so much. A Prayer of Blessing for Vina of A Nourishing Home
Circle Vina, Jesus, Keep peace within and discouragement out. Circle Vina, Spirit, May these long days of summer be filled with laughter for her. May all her days be filled with love and deep joy. Circle Vina, Father/Mother of us all, Sustain her growth in simplicity. In authenticity, reveal to her new depths of herself, her daughter, her husband and You . Inspire and breathe life into her creativity. May her abundance overflow into abundant generosity. Circle Vina, Jesus, protect her deep heart, guide her dreams, quite her insecurities. Circle Vina, Spirit, Keep joy near, and turmoil afar. Circle Vina, Father/Mother, Nourish her being, fill her heart and home with Life. In the name of the eternal three in one, Bless Vina, that she might continue to bless others. Amen.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman