Saturday, August 17, 2013


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Be At Peace

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

What To Do When the Kids are Bored

I hope you're having a lovely weekend!  We are having a mellow day at home.  Daddy is home, I am baking up a storm, and my littles have been occupying themselves with lots of pretend play today.
However, those 2 dreaded words finally came up: "I'm Bored!"

With the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 in mind, I think it's important to teach our daughters to self-motivate to creativity and productivity (she certainly seems far from bored, as the passage repeatedly describes the things she does with her hands.) Still, sometimes I feel like my girls think it's my job to come up with all of the ideas to keep them occupied and entertained.  When my husband and I were kids, telling mom you were bored only resulted in getting wrangled into doing chores.  I thought I'd try and take a different route so I started scouring Pinterest for some ideas.

I came across this lovely little "Bored Checklist" over at I Lift Heavy Things, and I think it's great.  The best part is, the girls do too!  We got down to "R" and my Angelface is presently reading "Go, Dog, Go!" to her sisters... ah... that was easy!

There's a plethora of other ideas on Pinterest, including a "Bored Jar," a "'Bored' Game," "Bored Magnets," and "Bored Sticks."  Some of them are really fun and cute ideas, and sure to keep your little darlings busy doing things that are both fun and helpful.

Okay - we're moving on to "E" now... lets see how long this checklist lasts! :D

What do you do when your kids say, "I'm bored!"

<3 Johnna

Friday, July 12, 2013


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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Water Your Own Yard

(This was originally posted on my personal blog in January... just wanted to share it with you all here, on Polishing Rubies.)

A long while ago, an acquaintance from high school wrote me a long rant.  All about how much she had envied me and how I was so popular and had all the friends I did.  How hurt she felt by me because she and I never were good friends.

I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I read it.

It made me realize how we only have our own perspective. And that perspective is almost always incomplete.  We jump to conclusions because of our feelings, often with no regard to what might be going on in someone else's world.

I wondered if she forgot that I came into high school, with all of about a dozen people knowing who I was.  I was the new girl, and as I quickly found out, people aren't always nice to the new girl.  During my first week of high school some girl hit me in the back of the head, just because.  I came home crying almost every day of that first week.  I told my mom, "I had no idea kids were so mean!"
I wondered if she knew I had people threaten to beat me up. They told me they didn't like my clothes.  They would terrorize me by threatening me under their breath as they passed me in the hallway.
I wondered if she knew that even though I made the cheer squad, I always felt on the outside because I didn't try out until Sophomore year.  There was always a whole year of memories that I wasn't apart of with the girls in my grade, and so I always felt a little bit on the outside.
I wondered if she knew how invisible I felt to so many people.  And how afraid I was of starting conversations.  I wondered if she knew how frightened I felt every time I got up in front of the student body for cheerleading, choir, or student council.
I wondered if she knew that horrible lies got spread about me.  And how misunderstood and alone I felt through all of it.
I wondered if she knew that the Sr. Class President would sit and pretend to shoot at me while I tried to conduct student council meetings my Sr. year.  And that a whole group of people tried to write me in as "The Biggest B****" for Senior "favorites."
I doubted she knew that the day they announced Senior Favorites and said that I had won "Most Popular," I was sitting under a tree eating lunch all by myself.  I'm sure she didn't have a clue that it didn't mean anything to me.  That I would have much rather gotten "best smile" or "most likely to succeed."
Being popular amounts to the number of people who know your name.  It doesn't reflect anything on your character (or your happiness for that matter.)
It doesn't mean anything.

I tried to write her back as sweetly as I could.  I apologized.  I tried to explain my perspective.  I tried to encourage her to let it go... we were kids.

But it didn't help.  It wasn't enough.  I could have ignored her.  At least then maybe some of her accusation of me would have been founded.  But I truly and honestly wanted to help her see that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.  Still, even ten years later, her expectations of me were beyond my reach.  There was nothing I could do to redeem myself.  She didn't want to see me any other way.  She just wanted to remain angry at me.

But her perspective wasn't a true picture of reality.  In the middle of what seemed like the perfect life to her, she had no clue about MY pain.  She hadn't even considered for a second that I had any.

I love the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

What good does it do you to look at someone else and be angry and jealous at them for the relationships they have?  Think about it.  It's just making you a crabby, joy-robbed person, making you less lovely, less enjoyable to be around.  So, you push people away.  But you want what they have.  You think the grass is greener on the other side?  You think if you could just have her husband, or his dad, or her friends, that then you would feel loved?  Then you might be happy?  It's not likely.  The truth is if the grass is all trampled on your side of the fence by your bitterness and anger, if you could get to the greener side, you'd trample it too.

We need to realize that what makes the "grass" green is not how everyone treats us, but how we treat others.  It's not people meeting the expectations we have for them, but it's about us raising the standard for ourself.  It's about reaching out when we don't feel known.  It's about remembering though we feel forgotten.  Its about loving even if we don't feel loved.  And remembering that everyone is fighting their own battles.  Whether you can see it or not, everyone is bruised and scarred and imperfect.

I firmly believe that one of the keys to a happy life is to quit comparing.  Quit wishing you had things different, and make the most of what you do have.  Quit wishing everyone else would be different and YOU be different.  Next time you think your husband doesn't notice all you do, instead of getting hurt over it, why don't you take the time to show appreciation for him?  Next time you wonder when the last time a friend thought about you was, instead of crossing them out of your address book, why don't you drop by with a bouquet of flowers "just because."  Next time you wonder if you pastor even notices if you go to church anymore, instead of leaving the church, why don't you stop and ask him how you can pray for HIM? Water your own yard, and quit trampling on what you do have. You might be surprised at the joy you find.

"Those who bring sunshine in the life of others cannot keep it from themselves." - James M. Barrie

"A man that has friends must show himself friendly..." Proverbs 18:24

<3 Johnna

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lies vs. Truth

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