Hey, you nerdy book club friends, the Plato discussion is up and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Right at this very moment, I’m hovering between two worlds. The new world of 2013 and all it’s hope and promise. And then all those things I didn’t finish in 2012 that try to pin me to wall to give an answer.
The glittery, angelic wings on which the hopes of 2013 flies are surely to win. But for now, I battle.
As we speak, I’m:

:: Working frantically to finish my ebook, which I had hoped to finish by my birthday, WHICH IS FRIDAY. Probably not happening.
:: Making list after list after blessed list of things that need to be done. I’m hoping that getting them out of my head and onto multiple sheets of paper will help my terrifically overloaded brain.
:: Already scared to death about a very awesome speaking engagement this fall, which I just said “YES!” to.
:: Planning a ‘Plato’ video for later today, which will demonstrate two things. 1. Plato was very smart. 2. I am not.
:: Making all sorts of plans in all sorts of areas of my life, including but not limited to: cooking, gardening, teaching, parenting, blogging, crafting, exercising, eating, reading, organizing, homekeeping, writing, and the list literally could go on forever.

Today, let’s check one thing off my to-never-possibly-get-done list, shall we?

I want to make this space serve you well.  I’m so thankful that you come here to visit.  I want to be helpful to you, while still being true to myself.

How can I do that better?   What kinds of posts resonate with you?  What do you want more of?  Less of?   What would make the site easier to navigate/use and share?

Tell me all about it.  I’m listening.  And taking copious notes.

Two things I’m doing to add value here:

1.  I signed up with a new  email service so that I can continue to provide an email subscriptions option for this blog.  It will also allow me to send an email newsletter, which I hope to do once per month.  The problem is that I haven’t yet been able to migrate the email addresses I already have into the new system.  It looks like it may take awhile.   I think that the old system is still working so you’re probably still getting emails from me when I add a new post.   But if you haven’t subscribed to this blog by email, it will be the best way in the future to get all my correspondence.  You can subscribe here!   If you have subscribed in the past (before 4 days ago), I would be so happy and honored if you subscribed again, using the new system.  Otherwise, I’ll slowly be adding you to the new system.  Y’all are dolls, you know it?  The January newsletter will go out in a week or so, so don’t miss it.  Subscribe today!

2.  I’m starting this little series called Life.  In grace, On Purpose, For Them.    And ‘them’ includes you.  I want to find ways to serve you,  my family and friends better.   And you want to find ways to serve your people better.  So, let’s join forces and serve well.  We’ll meet here once a month for a link-up where we’ll link to posts about how we are living intentionally for others.   January’s theme will be ‘time’.  Because planning and goal setting and time-management are all the rage in January.   How do you plan your time?  Is it important?  Could you serve others better if you were more organized and intentional with your time?  (I’m screaming a silent YES!!!)     What tools have you put into place to help you do this?   What goals do you set for yourself?  Are they all goals just for you?  Or goals to help you devote yourself to others?    Maybe you’ll just post about your resolutions but re-think them in light of service.     Think about it, write about it and then meet me here January 30th, the last Wednesday of the month.

February’s theme is the bedroom.  It’s the month of LOVE.  How do we use that space to serve the person we share it with?  You get the idea.

March’s theme will be ‘kitchens’.   How can we use our kitchens to serve?  You can post a recipe, an organizational post, a clean out your fridge post, a clean kitchen post, a menu planning post, or  whathaveyou.   Be creative and think of how you use your kitchen and how you can use it better to serve others.  We’ll link up here on the last Wednesday of every month.   I don’t have the whole year completely planned out so I’d love your input.  Other themes I’m adding are:  kids, online life, office/school, rest, reading, money, to name a few.

Soon, I’ll post a button for you to add to your site, along with a yearlong schedule to help you plan.

Let’s do 2013 with purpose, with love, with grace, for THEM!

I’m not sure if I’m posting all my goals this year or not.  It’s a daunting list.  You can find last year’s manifesto here, if you need a little kick in the goal-setting pants!

January,  and her bad self,  rocks my world EVERY year!

You can be sure I’m scribbling them down as fast as my little pen will write.

Happy New Year to  you and yours!

61 comments on “Life. In Grace. On Purpose. For Them”

  1. Well, I really enjoy all your posts! Would love to hear more about homeschool/time management/classical schooling stuff. I’m starting soon with my littles. Incidently, what homeschooling conference would you recommend for a classical homeschooler just starting out? I’m talking 4 year old. I want to go to Circe but have a wedding that weekend. Probably doing classical conversations next year with her.

    Also so fun about the link-ups planned. I’m not much of a linker-upper most of the time but might just join in! Also, eager for some plato talk later. I agree he is really smart, but I bet he didn’t know how to cook or bake or craft or decorate like you do! So there you go.

    And–very important as you evaluate last year and make lists for next year: that list of half-kept resolutions and undone plans? was competely removed from your file and replaced with the perfectly kept righteousness of Christ. A reminder I personally need this time of year, as a fellow January junkie.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah!
      As for conferences, I’d try to find someplace where Andrew Kern is speaking and hang on his every word. You can also buy the downloadable files from the past Circe conference and I would highly recommend them. To me, a few hours of listening to those would be a conference unto itself and you wouldn’t have to leave home:)))
      I love your last paragraph. You are so absolutely right!

  2. Edie, I am so thankful I found your blog, I am looking forward to your plans for all of “us”. I am not sure how to “link up”, hopefully this will be easy for the internet challenged. All I ever wanted to do in life was to marry and have a family. Not a very cool goal for a woman born in 1950. I have never regretted my choice. I was able to care for my 3 children, my mother for the last 9 years of her life and now my precious grandchildren. I am in awe of you young women who manage to do this and have careers and would sometime love to hear more about your decision to home school. I think the idea of service is a much neglected virtue.We live in a me society and the process of serving others brings great joy and fulfillment

    • so cool, Martha! if you dig thru my archives i’ve written about my decision to stay home and homeschool. it was a VERY difficult transition, with many tears and much angst but i wouldn’t change a thing. and my husband is so completely supportive.
      bless you in the new year!

  3. I just read your post from last year “january and her bad self”. It just so happens that you posted that on my anniversary, Jan. 9! I ADORE january!!! For all the reasons you have so eloquently stated… It’s a “hunker down” and get busy month for me. My husband and I will be celebrating our 19th year together next week and I CANNOT wait. It’s been a wild ride and, from where I sit today, I wouldn’t trade one single second of it! Anyway, I LOVE your blog and your ideas for 2013 – serving serving serving!

    I thought of one other theme that I have been hungering for: offline life — as in, how do we actually “do” our days when we aren’t sitting at the computer. I’d love to hear from you and others about how to structure our time – offline – to include the all important stuff like “stopping to smell the roses”.

    Anyway… thanks for all you do, Edie! You have a faithful reader here in Seattle!!!

    • isn’t january the best??! and happy upcoming anniversary:))
      yes, i think offline life is a great topic. there are seasons i am better at balancing than others but the idea of rest is near and dear to me:)
      thanks for reading and for your lovely comments.
      bless you in the new year!

  4. In my very humble opinion Miss Edie, you DO serve OTHERS very well. You are a living example of servant leadership and I appreciate the plethora of ways in which you do demonstrate the holy work in serving others each day. Thank you for that! I am looking forward to your new series. 🙂

  5. Would like to hear more about homeschooling and get an update on curriculum you and the girls like/dislike. An updated “day in the life” of your girls. Thanks!

    • well, now tracie, it just happens to be written down on my calendar for next monday. we’ll see how well i follow my editorial calendar.
      sadly, i’ve been working on that blimey post for months.
      why can’t i finish it?
      i do not know.
      hopefully soon.
      but it seems to be a consensus that y’all want more of that so i’ll make a strong effort:)))
      much love in the new year!

  6. One of the reasons I love your blog is b/c you homeschool, so I’d love continuous updates on that even when you might think them repetitive…I tend to be a classical homeschooler so I enjoy your opinions. I also love projects – anything decorating related – I love daily updates with pics – even just what you read and what you got out of it. God bless with the ebook and a Happy Birthday.

    BTW, over the holidays I was thinking of your friends that lost their son and his friend at the lake? electrical drowning? and prayed for them…so often when the immediateness of a tragedy is over we tend to forget, but I am sure it was a difficult time for them. Hope they are finding God’s grace.

  7. I love all your posts and can just see your brain churning a mile a minute! You know you’ll have to live to be 200 to do it all, dont you?! 🙂 I make lists too..otherwise I’d get nothing done. I like yor idea for the new year.

    • i know this:)))
      i was talking to my sister yesterday and we marveled at how weird my brain is. but yes, i’ll need more days or i’ll need to get much better at time management.
      blessed new year to you!

  8. Happy New Year, Edie! I’m new here, so I’m still getting to know you, but I can’t wait to get to know you better in 2013, and hopefully grow a little along with you.

    • turning my 31 days series into an ebook.
      it’s been WAY more work than i thought!
      but hopefully soon.
      thank you for sweetness:)))

  9. Friday is my sister’s birthday as well. 🙂 If you don’t finish by then, well, you just won’t finish but that is okay. 😉 I love your ideas for topics for the series!! 🙂 Serving well…something I would like to do this year too!! Looking forward to your posts! 🙂

  10. You’ve got me excited. (You can be sure I’m screaming that silent “yes”, too.) I resubscribed to the email list. I didn’t write down resolutions this year. I’m trying to be intentional with my planning and just make better use of my time, so this is perfect. Thank you!

    P.S. I emailed a while back asking for your physical address. I had something for you. I can send it to your sister which I think I have in my address book from last year.

  11. Would love to see more homeschooling. I especially enjoyed being able to see what they were working on, i.e. painting christmas soldiers, memorizing poems, etc. I have gotten some very good ideas from these.

  12. Looking forward to 2013 being a year of restoration & healing for our family. I’ve been down with the flu for almost a week. There is so much to do and I’m still feeling weak and a bit overwhelmed, really. Not sure where to start with what I want & need to do. This new year kind of snuck up on me and caught me so unprepared.
    I love every bit of your blog and every post you share. I think you do an amazing job here. You touch so many hearts and lives. You encourage and build up, you share yourself so honestly and openly, and you open your home to all of us through this amazing place.

  13. I love your idea for themes on serving others! That is a great idea. How about taking better of yourself so you can serve others? My mother is always reminding me about the oxygen masks on planes…..put yours on first then help everyone else. You’re no good to anyone if you can’t breathe. I TRY to practice that but we all know as a mother everyone else’s needs always come first!

    Thank you for all the inspirations, home and heart-wise, that you share throughout the year. I always look forward to reading your posts!

  14. “I want to make this space serve you well. I’m so thankful that you come here to visit. I want to be helpful to you, while still being true to myself.”

    Awesome, awesome statement. Tugs at my heart!

  15. The only thing I don’t like about your blog is your not posting every day! I love the decor, the food, the thoughtful ways you think, the Christian postings and on and on. You are my favorite!

  16. You already do such an amazing job of serving others. That’s why we all love you so much! Creative, brilliant, fun, and genuine. That’s what makes you (and your blog) shine. Thank you for sharing 2012 with us and being such an inspiration.

    I’d love to hear more about your approach to homeschooling (curriculum, daily schedule, things that have/have not worked). Judging from the other comments, I’m not alone. 😉 We respect your wisdom and look forward to the blessings 2013 will bring to you. LOVE the idea of a monthly plan. Can’t wait to join it!~

  17. I read several blogs and yours is my fave!
    I could make a love list but mainly it’s because your blog is substantial & filling. To continue with the kitchen/food theme: I partake in other blogs but more like treats, or even junk food and some are indulgences that I know add nothing of value to my existence, like emotional eating.
    So, your blog provides the meat of my on-line reading. And since my New Year’s goal is to cut out non-essential “things,” you’re it baby. No pressure.
    Really. Don’t go changin’.
    I do like the “on purpose” & monthly theme idea though. 😊

  18. Love your blog! My favorite posts are the creative ones you share, or the home decorating and recipes posts. Hope you can share more of these in the following year! Hoping you have a wonderful, God-filled year!

  19. Don’t go changin’. Really. Love it all, but the hospitality series brought me to my knees. Oh, and a book suggestion that is rocking MY world this new year…

    The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor (Hollingsworth)

    Might be a little light for you, my Plato-loving friend, but great stuff nonetheless. I love that man, even more now as an adult.

  20. “How can I do that better? What kinds of posts resonate with you? What do you want more of? Less of? What would make the site easier to navigate/use and share?”

    mmmmmm post/feature ideas for you……….
    1. operation get elizabeth a husband everyone can link up their potential bachelors and i’ll pick a winner or five
    2. operation pray for elizabeth to remember it’s not all about her.

    i kid, i kid….i think i’ve quit blogging but you and this little space will forever have my heart. i know you’re not looking for flattery but good ole feedback (fat lot of help I am) but it always resonates here with me. me a single chic, who rents. i love your posts on faith and your food makes me drool and your house we’ll it makes me covet but that’s neither here nor there. i think you’re doing great and that God’s grace will continue to make this space a shining light.

    happy 2013 wonderful, edie if anyone can climb that mountain it’s you and a heap load of grace. whatever is here will always bless. Ooooooo I got something for real get a scratch and sniff button for your recipe posts.

  21. i bombed the book club…epic fail…couldn’t get my act together.
    but this new series….i can handle that in my life right now. 🙂

    intentional living…my word for the year is ACTION….gotta start DOING some of the many things I dream of doing…this series might just help me!

  22. I’m a huge list person as well. So much I want to do, so much I need to do, and so little time. My new year’s resolution is to WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER. Hope I succeed! How about a few more of your delicious recipes this year?

  23. Pretty sure I originally found you a couple years ago via the Nester. I have loved browsing around and “touring” your home – it is lovely and your story of recovery after the fire and your faith is truly inspiring. I like the way you speak from your heart and are not afraid to be bold when necessary. I like your idea of the last Wednesday links and life on purpose. Just continue to be your lovely self! Oh, and we are birthday twins – mine is on Friday also – although I’m pretty sure I hatched several years earlier! I hope your birthday is blessed beyond measure – Happy Birthday! I told my husband I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s for my birthday – how lame is that? We recently moved from Louisville to a much smaller town two hours away so I am having serious Trader Joe withdrawals.

  24. I came here long ago because of a turquoise kitchen. I stuck around because of your insightful posts full of faith and for your stories and helpful posts re: homeschooling, in which I have lately been pouring through like a textbook.
    What you do, you do well…and you do it in style 😉

  25. I just came across your blog via my new edition of BHG. Your house is stunning, what I’ve read of your story is amazing, and your faith blows me away. I am excited to read more!

  26. Okay, just found you through the January BHG issue and I feel like I have found a treasure chest! There is so much wonderful information on your blog. It’s only been 24 hours since I first started reading (though I stayed up way past my bedtime reading through your archives) and I would love to hear what you think about “man caves.” We don’t have a dedicated man cave these days (it was just remade into a nursery!) but my husband tends to relax in the living room anyway. So, what do you think about having separate spaces in a house for the wife and husband? Man caves? Would love to see a post on this.

  27. I love everything you write about. I love seeing your home and reading everything home-related from your unique perspective. I love reading about your classical homeschooling (since my only little one is only 16 months old, and I am already wrestling with that decision within myself). I love the book club…with a passion. I love when you share stories of your faith journey and life’s lessons. I love when you write about hospitality, in all its forms.

    You have a way of writing from the heart that makes me feel like we have been long-time friends. My husband knows who Edie is, because I am always talking about something you posted. Just keep up that authenticity, and you could write about the migratory patterns of geese, and I would still be reading with rapt attention.

    I am very excited about the monthly link-ups and the focus on serving others.

  28. I started reading your blog about a year ago. I REALLY enjoy your great posts regarding decorating your home…(including seasonal changes)secretly wishing it was my home. The delicious recipes are fab. I also enjoy reading about your walk of faith which I find encouraging. Love your blog Edie and I look forward to reading more of it.

  29. I can’t think of anything for you to change/do more of! I love it all. I have recently become very interested in the idea of homeschool and have had the classical curriculum recommended to me, so I’m loving hearing about that. I LOVE your home and was so giddy when I opened my January BHG and saw it! It felt like I was seeing and celebrating the success of a dear friend, though I only know you through here 🙂 And I also love and am inspired by your spiritual posts. I love hearing about the faith journey of yourself and your family and it really encourages me!

  30. Love your series idea, Edie — can’t wait to link up and see what everyone else has to share! Also…I loved your feature in BHG this month. As Lindsay said in the comment above, it was like seeing and celebrating the success of a friend! You go girl! 🙂

  31. Can I just reach through this cold technology and give you a warm hug? I sure would. What a dear highlight you have become to my family’s life? So much that you are known as the “lady who taught me to make bread, loves Jesus, home schools her girls too, reads smart books”, even to my seven year old. (We love your cheese tortellini soup, btw!)

    Last night when I was putting her to bed, she asked to look at pictures on my phone of pretty houses, (where does she come up with this stuff?!?) and asked to see yours. When I saw your video on Plato, she wanted to watch it. Her response? “oh mommy, she loves play-doh, too, just like we do!”

    Needless to say, we both look forward to the months ahead of all you have planned!

  32. Reading this months better homes and not putting 2 and 2 together until I came to your blog- I remember your story, the heartbreak of the fire- we share similar friends. I hope the New Year brings you much happiness.

  33. Happy (belated) birthday! Meant to post yesterday but life got in the way. One thing I love about your blog is how you inspire growth in education – for your kids, and yourself. You have inspired me to do more with my kids, to be more focused, and they love that too. I also love how you are Christ-centered. That filter is so refreshing in its dedication and commitment, and encouraging. I’m not sure what to add or change – I love it as is. May you and your family have a beautiful, loving, healthy and blessed New Year.

  34. I would love to read books in your book club. I wish the translation of the Aeneid came in a Kindle version! I guess I should probably study for my boards instead, in my tiny bit of time after the baby goes to bed…

    Thanks for your great blog. I’d be interested to hear about how you decided to leave medicine. I’m a psychiatrist, just starting out, and can imagine at some point I might like to have extra time for my family and interests.

  35. You already serve us so well Edie. I love reading every topic you write about. Question about the email subscription though. It seems you have to get your posts via email to receive your monthly newsletter. I much prefer my reading posts through a reader to receiving posts by email, but would love the newsletter. Would you consider separating them in the future so everyone who wants to read your newsletters can do so? xoxo

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