Welcome to Under THIS Roof!

Posted in Home, Uncategorized

Home = Under This Roof!

Home is what Under This Roof is all about!

Here you will find different topics that as women we face daily.

We wear many hats while juggling our family, our home, our work, our friends, our life.

 I invite you in to take a look around at the popular posts listed on the right, or at the bottom you will find the different topics!

Join me and let’s be friends, subscribe and get an email when an update is made and let’s discuss life Under THIS Roof.

It’s not just about my roof, but what takes place under your roof as well! 

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Posted in Living Intentional

All the world is a stage

Do you know what that means? 

An excerpt from the book “Finding Your Voice”

Written by: Natalie Grant

Shakespeare famously said that all the world is a stage. With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and more, there is rarely a moment in our lives that isn’t recorded or shared. Often, of our own choosing, we are “on stage” twenty-four hours a day.

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While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does have enormous implications on the kind of life we live and the kind of person we are. Now, the social pressure to be successful, marry well, raise brilliant children and look stylish in skinny jeans while doing it all is exponentially higher. Now, instead of our immediate family or circle of friends and colleagues the entire world is offering their opinion on who we should be. “Having it all” has become more of a cultural mandate than an ideal. Individual aspirations become narrowly defined qualifications. Dreaming becomes striving. Before we know it, the joy we once found in our hopes and plans for the future is replaced by stress and a frenetic lifestyle that promises the world, yet leaves us empty.

Many of us, including myself, find ourselves compromising our authenticity for the sake of conformity. We put our dreams to sing, write, fundraise for a good cause, adopt, or (fill in the blank) on hold to maintain a personal profile online, in person, or on paper that culture has deemed acceptable. Somewhere along the way, we can convince ourselves that the opinions of others trump our self-perception. In a society that has placed a premium on belonging, the risk of pursuing our own path seems too great. Suddenly, having it all becomes having what everyone else has. Maybe you take that corporate job you are dreading because it offers premium health insurance.

Maybe you lay down a microphone, a paintbrush, or a pen to pursue a “real career”.

woman in mirror 3Maybe you go on that extreme diet or buy those clothes you really can’t afford or even surgically alter your appearance in order to look the part.

But here’s something to think about…What part? What role are you convinced that you must fill? Can you remember what’s at the root of all this desperation to be more or better?

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Are you afraid that people will see the real you behind your polished persona? Are you so focused on what you think you should be that you’ve forgotten who you are? Have your tireless efforts to look connected to society created a disconnect with yourself?

 

Personally, I find it all to easy to be so caught in the chaos of life.  So overwhelmed with being busy that the only way to get through is to go on autopilot. Life becomes less about living and more about surviving. In the din, not only is my own voice hard to discern – there are moments where I barely remember the sound of it.

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It’s tempting to chalk up this culture of disconnect to social media or technology or the changing demands on women in the twenty-first century, but that’s not only a narrow assumption; it’s a dangerous one. When we start blaming external circumstances for our internal conflict, we minimize the consequences of our actions. We also unwittingly declare that we don’t believe our Creator can handle our situation.

** Back to RL: ** 

Did any of this resonate with you? Did you hear “yourself” when you were reading and realize that maybe you are one of those women in the mirror? There is a different look that we need to consider and learn to love. It’s one that is all about us, our individual self. Our unique self. The self that GOD made to be unique. The self that has certain characteristics that make us who we are and sets us apart from other women. The reason why our husbands married us, the reason why our friends “truly” like us. The reason that we were put on this earth. Even if we haven’t figured it out yet, there is a definite reason. 

If you want to biblical and see where God wants us to know that’s it ok to be “our own” selves…then here you go.

Romans 12: New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a]faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Did you know that the 10 Commandments are really all about relationships? How to live a life as a Christian and love towards God, and towards our neighbors. 

The one that stands out is that we shall not covet our neighbor. The more we learn, the more we realize what this means. We aren’t to live like the Joneses! We are to live our lives like the  “___________’s” (fill in your name here) 

So you are now asking, “Robie Lynn, what does this mean???” Well, it means that the Joneses next door are different than you and you need not to worry about them! It means that what happens UNDER YOUR ROOF is unique to your family. It means that the $40 that Mrs. Jones spend on getting her nails down just actually paid for the additional CASH money that you need to help with the extra gas you spent this past week. It means that the extra cash you need to pay for the dogs to go to the Vet this month came out of pocket and not something you just paid 13% on a credit card. 

So what if you painted your own nails instead of being in a tranquil massage chair, what’s suppose to be a massage and quiet time, yet you are listening to the nail technicians speaking in their own language, one you don’t know, and now you are worried that they are talking about you! Imagine the tranquility you can have at home, you own lighting, your own music and own thoughts. That’s saving you money, and not spending money on what is ‘perceived’ as a tranquil time. Face it, it’s one of life’s jokes that we know they are speaking about us. Just one more way we PAY to keep up with social pressure when it really causes more anxiety and a little bit of discernment in our hearts, during that time. It’s not until we get with our friends and “compare” our nails to theirs. Really? “Is this what your life is about?”

If your answer is yes, then there is more to this. You need to remember that YOUR life is about you and your family and what takes place UNDER Yrsz_15241829_1318191518232315_4373980770038205774_nOUR ROOF!  It’s about Loving your life an not theirs! (another great book written by Rachel  Cruze) how to not compare yourself like Ruth Soukoup teaches us in “Living Well and

Spending Less”. It’s a process. Well, I lied. It’s a Journey. It’s not easy. It’s learning how to say no so you can learn to Live Life like No One Else. And the day you get it, you GET IT!”

 

Please reach out to me if you want to know more about any of these books, or ways to learn how to let go! I am the QUEEN of Loving a Life a “seeming to be” High Maintenance. I love clothes!  Well it’s all changed for me, because I am DEEP in the heart of my home, my family is looking AHEAD to where I want the Morrison’s to be in 5 years, 10 years, where we are not even sure that the neighbors and some friendships of today will matter, and surely the impromptu spending of a quick girls night out will help the family in a year from year, or next month. But family, and our lives, will matter today, tomorrow, and throughout the years!  

So ladies, go look in the mirror, and FIND YOU! The UNIQUE You that God has made! NOT the other ladies that are being too busy to be like others! 

I Love the REAL YOU,

RL 

Posted in Living Intentional, Uncategorized

Living next door to those Joneses…Geez!

I have told you all many times that I feel so stuck living in Northern Virginia next door to the Joneses, and well, being friends with them, that it’s hard to not be able to keep up. I struggle with having to turn down invites due to our financial status at the time, or trying to stick to the budget that I just created, and well….that I am wearing the same skirt to work that I have had for over 5 years. But, that’s my life…and well, I need to learn to be content with that. We aren’t starving. We have nice things. We drive reliable cars, have food in the fridge and more than we need.

But I have really been trying to learn to be more content with what we have. The word I want for me and my family is to be “abundant”.  To know that I have a life full of abundance! But the comparison creeps in so often and is such an energy sucker.

I have realized that in order to feel a life of “Abundancy”, I need to find my level of contentment…so this article was spot on for me.

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Paragraph 3 is actually my favorite. I ended up taking this to heart a little over a year ago. I remember the days of the Groupons and Brad Deals and just clicking and buying. I wasn’t rich then, I just thought I had the money, and well, I GOT A GREAT DEAL! Who doesn’t love a deal, right?

I love Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma and Ann Taylor and, and, and….well, with each email that shows up every day, I would open it and it would create a feeling of WANT that actually was detrimental to my thinking, EVERY DAY! It created so much want and then a feeling of let down of “ugh I am so poor” that it really started to hurt my head, my soul, and just physically I was noticing the type of depression setting in that was so sad. I created all of this on my own. I don’t NEED any of it! I just WANTED it.

So it was time to take action! How? Well, I went on the new journey of UNSUBSCRIBE! This was my big turn over to filling my emails with positive sites and nothing retail! I had to give it up, and well, as you see below in Paragraph #1, it was time to “Set my Priorities”!

So, I hope you, too, can gain something from this and help you realize that you ARE enough and you HAVE enough! I hope you can get something fulfilling out this and start a new way to felling content!

 7 WAYS TO BE MORE CONTENT

A few months ago I shared that our family’s theme word for the year is contentment.
After an entire lifetime of wanting to trying to fill my life with beautiful things in the hope that it would bring fulfillment, learning to simply be content with what I have is a huge shift in paradigm.

I backslide sometimes–too often, really–and I find myself getting caught up in the pursuit of wanting something new, in the trap of thinking that there is better than here, of telling myself the reason I’m not satisfied is because I don’t have X or because I haven’t achieved Y.  They are the familiar lies that keep creeping back over and over again.

Even so, slowly and painfully, through much prayer and reflection, I can still feel myself being changed, transformed, renewed.  As this process continues, and as I continue to delve deeper into God’s Word, I am finding that these seven strategies are helping me to be much more content right where I am.

 

1. SET YOUR PRIORITIES

Take the time to actually write down what is most important to you, and to determine what it is you want most out of life.  Is having a bigger house, better clothes, a nicer car or the latest iPhone your ultimate goal?  If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want people to remember you for?   It is much easier to be content with what we have when we truly consider where our priorities lie.  Jesus, in Matthew 6:20-21, put it simpler still: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven….for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

2. STOP COMPARING

This is so easy to say and yet, unless you live in a bubble, so hard to do.  No matter what we do or who we are or how much we have, it is so tempting to see what someone else does or is or has and suddenly want that for ourselves.

As a blogger, my own biggest temptation is comparing myself to other bloggers.  I’ll see another blog that has more subscribers or Facebook fans or blog comments and think, “why are they so much bigger or better than me?”  Then I’ll read an amazingly insightful post or see a super-creative DiY project or delicious-looking recipe on another blog and think “Why couldn’t I think of that.”  But I don’t stop there.  I start questioning everything I am doing, I begin second-guessing my own path, my own content, my own worth.  Suddenly everything I do is complete crap and I might as well just quit altogether.I am learning, slowly, that another person’s success or talent doesn’t negate my own.  I remind myself over and over of the message found in Romans 12:6:  “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”  No two people will walk the same path, and nothing someone else has will fulfill me if I’m not already filled.  My only job is to walk my own path to the best of my abilities.

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3. CHANGE THE MESSAGE

Do you ever feel like modern culture is just one big advertisement, constantly telling telling us what we need to be happy or successful?  Between television, books, online media, magazines, and even billboards, it is practically impossible to escape the pressure to have more, do more, or be more.  Much of  that message involves filling our lives with things, promoting the idea that stuff will make happy.  Sometimes it is just a “motivational” message, telling us that we should simply be better.  In any case, the idea that what we have and who we are is enough is rarely–if ever–promoted.  Contentment just doesn’t sell.

4. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Discontentment can sneak up on us so quickly, often before we even know it is happening.  Something doesn’t go exactly our way, and suddenly we are wishing the whole world was different.   I especially see this with my kids!  I have found that it helps both them and me to have daily conversations about the blessings in our lives and the things we are grateful for.

Philippians 4:4-7 reminds us to “rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!….Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gthe-true-definitionuard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am trying (yet often failing) in my own morning devotions, to be more intentional about thanking God for what He’s done, rather than constantly coming with my own petitions.  This is still hard for me.  To be perfectly honest, my prayers can often be very self-consumed.  There is a lot I still want, but remembering all that I have does make a difference.

5. LIVE PASSIONATELY

Where is your passion?   What do you love to do most of all?  What makes you jump out of bed in the morning, or rush home from work just so that you can have a little extra time to do it?  Is it sewing?  Crafting?  Blogging?  Speaking?  Volunteering? Starting your own business?  Raising children?  Becoming a missionary?  Whatever it is, DO IT.  Do it with abandon, do it like your life depends on it.

There is nothing in the Bible that says we should simply sit quietly by, trying not to make waves.  On the contrary, Jesus specifically said “I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it to the FULL.”  A full life is one filled with passion, and it is hard to feel discontented when you are following your dreams.

6. FIND POSITIVE FRIENDS

Trying to “keep up with the Jones’” can become all-consuming if everyone you know is caught up in the same more-more-more mentality.  Unspoken competition among friends for the nicest house, most athletic kids, or biggest television (just to name a few!) not only breeds discontentment, but can cause true resentment among the people who should be your support system.bff_6-1

The Bible is pretty clear on this topic, saying “do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33).  A good way to make sure you’ll never be content is to surround yourself with discontented friends.  Instead, find people who are striving for the same goals.

7. PRAY FOR CHANGE

It always, always, always comes down to prayer.  Pray for contentment, for God to truly transform your heart and satisfy your need for more, and he will.  It is only through God’s grace we are redeemed.  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”  (Matthew 7:7)

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Do you ever struggle with discontentment?  What are your strategies for dealing with it?

 

What paragraph struck you the most? I would love to hear! Please comment below and let’s cheer each other on! We can do this!

RL

 

Posted in Gluten Free and Fructose "FREE", Living Intentional, Uncategorized

Social Butterfly no longer, it’s just safer in the cocoon…

Why life has become so hard for me doesn’t have everything to do with the fact that my children are growing, financially we’re not where I thought we would  be, and even not where I thought I would be in my professional life. The hardest part for me has been the past five years where I have gone from  being a very social person and always out with friends and entertaining people in our home, to now I have become a hermit. Anxiety from having to go out with others and attend parties and cookouts, etc. are anything but easy! It doesn’t really have anything to do with anxiety over being social, period. I love my friends! It is the effects of my life now having food interolerence. It is one thing to be gluten-free where people do understand that a little bit more these days, but to have to be fructose free as well makes things very hard. Not many people understand what that is, and the past 3 years of learning all the many foods that contain fructose has been very eyeopening.

The support from my friends truly has been wonderful. I love how my friends try to find different foods and dishes that I can eat. For Bunko and Left Right Center nights they would bring Gluten Free crackers and chips and be excited. They love to offer suggestions, however, it is just not that easy. Having to deal with no garlic, no onions, spices and ingredients in those hidden sauces and prepackaged foods, even as simple as what mustard I can use and which ones I cannot is just frustrating.

This is the part that hurts the most.  The generosity is overwhelming, but I am a people pleaser and the last thing I want to do is to have to tell people, “sorry I can’t eat that”. I get so tired of having to say “no”. It’s just discouraging to them and well, just really starts to piss me off honestly cause it’s then a constant reminder of what I can’t eat.

“Eat some vegetables” they say as they push the platter towards me. 

No I can not have a carrot, yes, the simplest snack of all is on my no-no list. 

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Why is this a burden, I’d like to be skinny like you? Wow, I am so jealous, I wish I could look like you. UGH!

It’s all those times of fun celebrations, gatherings and events that people don’t think about. We were invited to an awesome VIP catered event at the Richmond Nascar race last fall yet I had to pack all of my own food for the day and HOPE they had a wine that didn’t make my throat feel like it was closing up. I mean, it’s bad enough I am drinking wine at a Nascar race, right? Just give me a cold one! 

People always wonder why you are the one not eating? I am so tired of explaining myself and have to go through the whole thing. I hate that it has become my identity when I meet new people. I just want to be Robie Lynn, I am in Sales and Marketing for a  for a new home builder, I am a wife of 24 years to Wally, a mother of 3 with a recently married son and I have a fun blog about being Perfectly Imperfect!  Ugh, I don’t want to be THAT one, that…oh, you can’t eat that.  I want to be known for me. (sigh)

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So through these years as I have now been judged as the person that is the”no-show” and has even stopped receiving the invites. Financially, I can’t play with the Joneses and the big girls all the time, but I did like to pick and choose. But now, I am the one that stopped going out for many personal reasons. There are those that will continue to judge and that will never understand what it is like, unfortunately. These days it’s just easier to stay home within the safety of my own refrigerator and pantry.

Definition of Free

ADJECTIVE
  • Able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another.

WRONG! This would be why I say that being gluten and fructose free is anything but “FREE” for me. It has confined me mentally and physically. I never feel “good, when I feel things seem to be getting better, one little bite of something wrong can trigger the bloat and pain, then its right back to days of just trying to be normal again. I want to be free of the nonstop, constant thoughts of food. I want to be able to walk through a grocery store and try new foods. Shoot forget new foods I just want to eat what I used to eat. It’s like throwing an alcoholic in an ABC store asking to pick up something for you and then watching them drink it. 

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So, here we are once again on a holiday weekend where we have been invited to a party. Three hours before and I am already anxious trying to figure out what food to take and what they are serving. I hate looking like the outcast, I hate offending the host because they are unaware, which then leads to one more conversation having to explain it all over again. Thankfully, I have a husband who has learned to cook for me as now, food is a very negative thing for me. Don’t get me wrong, when it’s good it’s good and I love to eat! But, after five years of losing weight going from a size 8 down to a size 0 and being able to level out between a two and a four find my new size. However, within the past five months I have quickly packed on over 10 pounds and I can only contribute to this to being on new medicine that made me feel better, therefore maybe I ate a bit more than I was in the past, I guess. This is where it is evident that I LOVE to eat! But, yes one of the side effects of this medicine is weight gain. So here I am feeling miserable and now none of my clothes are fitting and we all know how that feels at any point in our life, right? The best part is is I am now told that I look healthy again unlike all the comments before of being accused of anorexia or doing drugs and looking sick. Not sure which side of life I prefer but honestly, I really just want to be free. So, as you all go about your holiday weekend, cookouts and fun foods, please eat a burger for me! Oh, and please be sure to top that off with ice cream in a cone or maybe some watermelon! All I can continue to say is this too shall pass, this is not new for me and I will survive.

For any of you that might be struggling with some food intolerences and know where I am coming from, please feel free to comment and share your experiences.  I’d love to talk about just how imperfect we are, together! 🙂

Happy 4th ya’ll!

RL