Archive - October 2017

1
Light Shine Candles
2
A new home, a new perspective

Light Shine Candles

Months ago we drove across town to meet new friends for dinner. As many of you know we made some big changes in our family this year including a new house, new town and new school for our kids. These new friends were part of these upcoming changes and we jumped at the chance to share a meal and learn more about their family. Fast forward to the present… our children have growing friendships and I’ve learned so much about the powerhouse mama who founded Light Shine Candles. Anna Reyes and her family work in community development initiatives and live in the Nashville area; they have also served in El Salvador. This is part of the driving force behind Lightshine… flexible work that creates space for serving the community. You can read more about the Light Shine story here. 

So let’s talk about these candles. I’m very picky about the candles I use in my home. I look for non-gmo soy wax and cotton wicks. Did you know that most of the candles on the market use lead wicks?? Not a good thing to breathe in my friends. Not Light Shine… they use 100% non-GMO soy, no phthalates and no dyes. Their candles begin with a glass jar, a cotton wick and they are finished out with locally printed labels. And rumor has it Anna uses recycled packaging materials from friends as often as she can which reduces waste and overhead for her little company.

But really, it’s more than just delightfully scented gmo-free soy candles. There is a whole lot of give-back going on over at Light Shine. Customers who take part in the monthly subscription program  (Shine Club!) can anticipate a wonderful assortment of candles each month while knowing that $5 of their monthly box subscription will support developing communities in El Salvador.  Light Shine also gives Anna’s family freedom as they continue community development work with Global Outreach Developments International. Additionally, Anna offers fundraising opportunities for churches, adoptive families, community groups, schools… you name it. You can learn more about fundraising with Light Shine here.

I encourage you, especially during what I call peak candle season, to head over to Light Shine and feed your fall candle habit. It’s always sweet to add special touches to our homes while supporting strong moms who not only work hard for their families but support their communities both globally and locally. Women like Anna are living Proverbs 31She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands… she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy…She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

A new home, a new perspective

We have been living, full and loud, in our new home for about three weeks now. In that time we’ve broken a window playing wall ball, annoyed the neighbors and been compared to living in India. The living in India comment came from my sweet neighbor, who grew up there, the night my oldest had every boy in his class over for tag and other boisterous outdoor activities. It was a compliment and one I happen to be proud of. Kids belong out in the cul-de-sac after all! We are pretty good neighbors… we mow the lawn on time and keep it quiet after dark. There are just a lot of us and a lot of joyful noise accompanies that number. I’ll admit… the noise isn’t all joyful. My kids are normal and they fight and skin their knees on occasion.

So the new house. I have tried very hard to reflect on our home as we worked to organize and settle in. It’s so very different from our previous home… the one we put together with our own hands; changing, re-shaping and renovating. The one that boasted shiplap hand-laid by Calvin and my dad. The one that displayed all the farm house items I found at antique stores and junk sales. It was lovingly curated.

As we house hunted, I looked for practical. I looked for smaller. I looked for just-enough and just right. We considered the profit from the previous house and made a line in the sand on what we could spend. We felt blessed to be able to make a profit on the house and wanted to honor that by being good stewards with the new purchase.

What happened is interesting. After looking and looking and more looking, the house presented itself. It was a little smaller, it had the driveway desired for basketball, and it seemed just right. Just right for a family of six, just right for filling with friends and just right in regards to proximity to the new school. It’s more than what I would have asked for… but it accomplished every goal, thought and desire for good stewardship. And so, we became home-owners for the third time.

As I began to make this house home I was overwhelmed by my desire for simplicity. To paint one color, to decorate with the things I have, to display things that are meaningful. The urge to find and curate has slipped away in many ways. Changing homes reminds you what home is.

Home is breaking windows because you are outside being wild together. Home is a nook for coloring and writing notes to friends. Home is an area to gather for meals and share them with others. Home is a door wide open to those who need it.

When I look at my new home I imagine ways to make this more possible… to eliminate the boundaries to more community and family time. I never want to stress over things breaking or being messed up when there are people that need to be loved and encouraged.

I still love to decorate and style my home. But I have a hard time imagining myself ever putting as much effort, time or resources into it as I once did. It’s funny what a few moves will do to change your perspective.

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal