If you come to my house….

If you come to my house for dinner…

You can expect to be given a home cooked meal made of real food…but, it’s very likely that there will be dirty dishes in the sink.
Expect to be eating largely organic, free-range, and grass fed as the case may be…but my toddler may sing ABCs during dinner, or reach clear across the table for bread, or roll his toy car on your back.
Expect that I will have good beer (usually local) that you can enjoy…but, you may be dragged to the playroom to play cars or asked to hold the baby for a bit.
Expect to be heartily welcomed…but, you may be asked to leave early because we aren’t afraid to kick people out because we’re tired.
Expect casual, comfortable and usually messy.
Expect laughter and conversation…but expect it to be interrupted by kids and seasoned with awkwardness now and then.

If I invite you to my home for dinner…

I expect you to play with my kids at least a little.
I expect you to make yourself at home – take your shoes off, help yourself to water, beer, raw milk or whatever other drinks are around, change the music if you want.
Excuse the mess and pardon the kids chaos.

I love having people over, i would usually much rather have people in my home than go to someone else’s, but I’m not a Martha Stewart type of host. When I invite someone over I invite them into a little bit of myself – I am messy, and unfinished and so is my home. I am not interested in facades or perfection, I can’t maintain them. I am interested in friendship, I am interested in building authentic community.

I will welcome you into my home on the day when my kids took extra long naps, and I am refreshed and prepared, and on the day when I only got two hours of sleep and didn’t have time to clean. I will welcome you in on the days when I’m energized and creative and the days when I just can’t snap out of my negative funk. Sometimes I might ask all the right questions and we’ll have a great conversation. Other times I might be tired and awkward and we may end up just watching an episode of Friends or Modern Family together.

So, come on over. Come in and take a seat. Breathe. Relax. I won’t pretend if you won’t. Welcome to the mess, the chaos, the unfinished work in progress. Welcome to my home.

Rejoicing in the journey,
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

A Random Break from the Norm: Interior Design Dreams

Sometimes when I have things to think about or do that I don’t want to do or think about I end up working really hard at distracting myself. I know it’s not the best thing to do, but honestly, sometimes it actually proves to be a good coping mechanism – sometimes something that I wasn’t able to handle becomes much easier to handle after I’ve put it off and let my subconscious mull over it for a while.

So lately I’ve been engaging in two main forms of distraction. The first is reading, as you may have picked up on by the fact that I read all four of the Twilight series books in 5 days. I also recently finished The Starfish and the Spider(review to come soon), and The Story of the Other Wise Man. I’m now onto reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwellas well as a book on prayer and I’m considering starting Crime and Punishmenttonight (I’m hesitating though because I’ve never liked Russian novels much, I think it’s partly because they are so depressing and when you get as absorbed in the characters of stories as I do depressing can really eat at you). Anyway…

The second distraction lately has been design, style and craft type blogs – a bit of a shift from my normal theology and ecclesiology heavy reading. But, I am a women and a wife and I do enjoy sometimes embracing the Martha Stewart side of me, well, maybe not really Martha Stewart, but there is a side of me that wants to decorate a beautiful home that welcomes people and makes them feel comfortable and a side of me that wants to set an elaborate table and cook yummy treats and, yes, even though I hate shopping, and cloths are not at all my thing, there’s still a side of me that would love to dress up in some beautiful designer gown sometime. So, lately I’ve been distracting myself with that sort of thing, particularly with dreams about how I would decorate my dream home if I had the money, time or space.

So, as a tip of my hat to that side of me, here are just a few things I’m really enjoying right now:

 

I found this picture on the blog coco+Kelley (a site that in and of itself is on my list of things I’m really enjoying right now). I love the exposed brick on the walls and the big windows with white flowing curtains. I also really like the stand alone bath tub – although I think I would prefer one with legs – I’ve always wanted an old fashioned stand alone tub. I don’t like the antlers in the picture though – it makes it a bit too rustic for my taste.

 

I found these two on a blog called Absolutely Beautiful Things – I love the eclectic feel of the mismatched chairs that color coordinate. The pink is not really my thing but I still really like the over all look. I also love the built in book shelves in the living room.

  

This is also from Absolutely Beautiful Things. I really love the two different antique mirrors, but I think the sink has a bit too much of a country feel for me.

     

I am realizing more and more that I really like a lot of white – different shades of white and off white and light grey and cream – LOVE it! I think it’s just that it’s really calming and crisp feeling and I need calming clean, balancing influences in my chaotic mind. The first few pictures above are from Absolutely Beautiful Things, the last from City Sage.

 

This picture is from City Sage. I really like the different mix matched hooks on the wall of this entry way – also love the black door against the white walls. I’m starting to notice that I really like eclectic mix matched combinations – too bad I usually wouldn’t have the courage to try out something mix matched in my house… I think I need to get more adventurous in my decorating.

  

So, one of my problems with decorating is that I love whites and light colors but I also love things like the pictures above – deep rich dark colors with lots of cooling, calming effects, but also lots of contrast. I can never decide, plus I definitely don’t think I have the courage to go this dark… though I do sometimes dream of dark blue walls and white bedding in a bed room. The first picture is from City Sage and I found the second picture on coco+kelley. I love the deep blues and crystals whites in both of these dining rooms – makes me think of the night sky – very peaceful.

 

Honestly I’ve never liked crystal or chandeliers much but lately I totally want one. This picture is also from coco+Kelley.

 

I’ve never liked yellow or orange much, but I like this dining room – it just seems like the kind of place where people would want to hang out and laugh and talk and party. And I think the colors of these flowers against the white are really beautiful. Found these on coco+Kelley and Absolutely Beautiful Things.

   

Seriously, ever since I was a little girl I wanted to have floor to ceiling book shelves (preferably with a sliding ladder). These one’s are from Diane Bergeron.

Ok, so I think that’s enough of this random tangent for one day. Like I said probably not the best use of my time, but oh, well. Hope you enjoyed.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Longing for Home

Christ circle me.
Keep comfort within and discouragement without.

Today I feel tired and lonely. Today I cry and miss home…
I miss the golden spires of Prague.
I miss the streets at dusk when the sky is deep blue and the shadows on the street are long but golden.
I miss the beautifully painted eggs at the Easter markets.
I miss the castle all lit up at night.
I miss the comforts of my own bed.
I miss the view from my window.
I miss the fruit and vegetable stands in the street by the square.
I miss the church at Namesti Miru.
I miss the public transportation – even the crowded metros at rush hour.
I miss reading and people watching on the tram.
I miss hearing the beautiful language which is Czech – even though I still can’t understand it.
I miss “pivo”.
I miss our chili plant and watching it grow.
I miss church there and miss feeling excited about church.
I miss feeling like I was part of something – however small my part.
Most of all I miss the people.
I miss praying with Carrie and Sarah.
I miss talking with Carrie and Sarah.
I miss the long talks with so many interesting and diverse people.
I miss Irena’s sarcasm.
I miss Isaiah’s adorable little smile.
I miss church gatherings and “storying” together.
I miss playing Settlers of Catan with people.
I miss dinner parties.
I miss English nights with the students we used to teach.
I miss playing with the gypsy kids and seeing their big smiles.
I miss talking with the Bakers and getting to know them.
I miss hearing Bryan and Mathias talk about various business schemes.
I miss everyone.
I miss Prague.

Christ, circle me.
Keep comfort within and discouragement without.
Keep me firmly planted in the present and help me to enjoy this time in the states.
Comfort me with your presence, Lord, in moments when I feel lonely and weary of traveling.
And with each day, each triumph and trail, draw me closer to that true home which is yet to come and that true self which I have yet to experience.
Christ, circle me.
Keep comfort within and discouragement without.


Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

Photograph by Beth Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)