Blogger Recognition Award

I have exciting news! Wildflowers and Progress was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award – three times! This award allows bloggers to publicly recognize other blogs they enjoy and recommend, and then those bloggers have the opportunity to pay it forward. Many thanks to Natalie at Content With Simple, Autumn at Anywhere With Autumn, and Elise at Ask Dr. Ho for my nominations. I’m honored and flattered!

Where Wildflowers and Progress Began

Just like all roads lead to Rome, all signs pointed to blogging. Well, three of them, at least. Firstly, I desired a way to weave my passions into my life, and I wanted a hobby that was just for me. I’ve always loved writing, and I love projects that encourage (mandate, even!) continuous learning, so blogging was tempting. Simultaneously, I took over our social media at my day-job, and I liked the idea of a sandbox where I could learn and make mistakes without reflecting poorly on the company. Finally, Allie Trowbridge wrote Twenty-Two Letters. I grew up going to the same church as Allie, and her publishing a book encouraged me in my dreams to to publish a book someday. She proved it could be done, so I should preserve those college-refined writing skills from rusting!

So I decided to blog!

I saw many beautiful blogs of people showing the best parts of lives – wonderful trips, beautiful homes, picture perfect avocado toast! I wanted to contribute a blog that said, “If you’re like me, your life can be a bit of a mess. That’s okay. Let’s find beauty in this mess together, and hopefully get a little better.” And thus, Wildflowers and Progress was born!

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A Housekeeping Tip for the Hopelessly Untidy

Tidy your home in half the time with this helpful housekeeping tip! Is anyone else’s home constantly untidy? I love spreadsheets, but my house can look like a tornado hit – shouldn’t it be one or the other? Organized or not?

Apparently not. My closet is beautifully color coded, but my worn clothes end up in a heap on the floor.  I’m at peace when the house is clean, yet I kick off my shoes who-knows-where when I get home. I have a cubby for my phone, but I know for a fact that it’s currently in the kitchen by the dishes.

In short, I have trouble being tidy.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. My junior high homework planners were perfectly organized, yet whenever my best friend Melissa came over, she went straight to my bedroom and closed all my dresser drawers. We’re still friends, and she hasn’t stopped.

But there’s hope!

When I remember this tip, it cuts my tidying time in half! Thank goodness! I’ll take all the help I can get.

So without further ado, here it is:

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The Shame of Being Tired As a Non-Mom

I usually enjoy a full schedule. Starting near the beginning of 2016, though, I felt too tired to keep up – and I was embarrassed about it. There’s a running joke that non-moms don’t understand what it’s like to be tired. Mothering is famously the hardest, most unrelenting job on the planet, so their claim to tiredness is understandable.

But as a non-mom, my exhaustion brought with it shame and embarrassment. I didn’t have kids yet. I didn’t have the right to be tired.

Dishes piled up, laundry piled up, lists of people wanting to get together piled up. I could probably rally for a special event, but otherwise, very little outside of what had to get done got done.

The Shame of Tiredness

My world shrank with my energy, and I became increasingly embarrassed about my diminishing capacity. I dreaded Mondays, because that meant grocery shopping, and grocery shopping was exhausting. Sometimes I would skip it. I regularly cancelled plans I because I wasn’t up to interacting with people or else didn’t think I would be sufficiently alert to drive home.

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Why It’s More Important to Be Kind Than to Be Clever

It’s officially summer, and no food says summer to me like watermelon. Juicy, running down your forearm and chin, seed spitting contest enabling watermelon. It’s nature’s candy and children’s joy. Because of an unfortunate experience, it’s also a reminder to me that it is so important to be kind over clever.

The Lead Up

A few years ago, I had the privilege of attending a professional picnic that I was really excited for. Not only was it in the beautiful city of Napa, but it had a great guest list of business owners I respected. The attendees were a combination of people that I already liked and others that I didn’t know yet but admired from afar. I was eager to put my best foot forward.

I’m no bum in the kitchen, so I thought contributing a potluck dish that was delicious and a little different would be a good way for me to stand out. The winning recipe was a watermelon, tomato, and poppyseed salad I had made a few weeks earlier. I may sound like a crazy combination, but trust me when I say it’s delicious and refreshing! (The New York Times has a similar one.)

So, salad in hand, I drove three hours up to wine country, brimming with hope and excitement!

The Clever Words

The picnic was lovely and well attended. There was some murmuring when people got to my salad in the buffet line (“Watermelon and tomato? Huh. I’ll try it.”), but I was expecting that. I knew that once they tasted it, they would like it. In my imagination, they would ask who brought such an unusual and delicious dish, and I would have my moment in the sun.

Unfortunately, the day didn’t go as scripted.

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An Open Letter to Lysa TerKeurst Regarding Her Heartbreaking Divorce

Open Letter to Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst, well known Christian author, speaker, and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, recently announced her impending divorce. On her blog, she gave the heartbreaking news that her husband cheated on her for years, and nothing has changed after eighteen months of intense marriage crisis counseling.

Some stood quickly atop their soapboxes and spouted their opinions about her divorce, behavior, and ministry. I don’t think now is a time for standing or spouting; I think now is a time for sitting and grieving.

Lysa wisely turned off the comments on her blog, and I couldn’t find a way to email her. Still, I wanted to let her know that she was not alone. From across the country, many of us are sitting and grieving with her. I hope this letter reaches her, but even if it doesn’t, I’m glad to have one more compassionate voice out there during this hard time.

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