It's Tuesday and that means it's time for Tell Me a Story, stories about gratitude. I am honored to welcome Molly from Mommycoddle. When I discovered blogs about three years ago, Molly's blog was one of my first-reads. Her honesty about farm, family and life open my eyes to so many new things-- and I'm grateful to call her my friend.
Please help me welcome Molly.
Where do you live? We live in a rural valley in north central Maryland.
Tell me about your family? My husband and I have 4 girls from 8 years old all the way down to five months. Dan and I are hoping the trend will shift to potluck weddings by the time they're all walking down the aisle. We live in a farmhouse on several acres that we've been slowly returning to its roots, little by little. It is a long process and requires lots of patience. Currently we're saving our pennies and mapping out plans for some fencing, a few lambs and maybe even a milk cow. But for now, our chickens, mallard ducklings, barn cats and labrador retrievers keep us entertained.
What activity or circumstance makes you feel most alive? There are three things that get me every time. The landscape. My faith. And a good song. When I can combine all three, it's magical.
Most of my family live in this valley and it's not uncommon that I find us heading home from dinner at someone's house just as the sun is setting. The drive home, back down into the valley, windows down, music playing, little arms out the car windows, fields of hay and corn and beans flashing past... It gets me every time and makes me grateful for where I live, who I love and that I know the Creator who made it all.
What gratitude did you feel today? What gave you peace? Any ah-ha moments? Today I felt gratitude for some very basic things. For the change in weather which has recharged my spirit. For a clean house and a mopped kitchen floor. For the sounds of my girls and husband playing together outside. The hum of the mower. A few stolen moments in a quiet house. The squeal of surprise and joy over a special dessert served on my nice china.
How do you see gratitude or mindfulness? Is this a daily practice? I think both gratitude and mindfulness cause me to slow down. And often to re-evaluate. When they are absent from my life it feels like time is slipping away. I feel wanty. And long for things that I think everyone else has. I feel sorry for myself. But when my heart and mind are rooted in gratitude, my perspective, my peace and my attitude changes. And I'm suddenly struck by all the goodness that I have.
Molly, you took a break from blogging at mommycoddle for the season, were you able to accomplish your goals with Habit, your family? What insight or perspective did you gain in your time away? Well, in a way, I felt like my break didn't really begin until August. We had a wonderful, but busy July-month at habit and it required more computer time than I was hoping to have during my break. But the time away was really good for me. I created another blog for myself on tumblr. I kept it completely private and told no one about it because I wanted to be sure that I still enjoyed the medium of blogging. I wanted to be sure that if no one were reading, it would still be an important part of my life. And I found that, yes, I did still enjoy having a space. And I feel like I was able to return to some of the roots of blogging. And while I don't mind opening up the windows of my life for others to see and sharing in the community of blogging, when I began to feel like I was blogging for everyone else, instead of for myself, I knew I needed to step back for a bit. The break really brought back perspective, and renewed and changed my vision for mommycoddle.
As you look forward into the school year, what do you have planned for the girls? Is gratitude part of your day as a family? As I sit here and type our school year will begin in EXACTLY 12 hours. I am really looking forward to this year. I have taken a completely new approach from what I've done in the past. And I feel like I've made a shift and commitment to homeschooling that was somewhat absent in the past. I still remain open-minded, but committed and inspired. The girls have been keeping gratitude journals for the past two years. Each day the begin by writing a few sentences about something they are thankful for. Sometimes they draw a few pictures, sometimes only words. They have been treasures to look back on and they have helped me instill a heart of gratitude in them.
Molly is a writer, mother, homeschooling mama, and part-time farm girl. She believes in the marking of time and that every day holds a story all its own. She writes at her personal blog, mommycoddle.com and is co-creator of habit, a collaborative photography + words project with Emily of shining egg.
You can find Molly on the web in a variety of places: