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Episode 118: Marsha Parker                      

Taking A Tiny Break

…from flowers today to share my heart. Occasionally, I just have an urge to share a little of myself with you in hopes that you understand the person behind Botanical Brouhaha…not sure if that’s a good idea or not, but I like authentic people and would like to be one.

Lately, I’ve found myself sitting down to write the next Botanical Brouhaha post late at night and totally exhausted. Usually, I am so eager to spend time writing the posts and take my time exploring photos for a subject. My enthusiasm hasn’t waned, but my days seem to be getting shorter! As I was thinking about my new time challenge, I decided it was time to share another personal post. So…if you came here for flowers today, I totally understand if you need to scoot along to another flower blog. I’ll be right back to flowers tomorrow.

A year ago, we were struggling as a couple…feeling like we needed to be doing more for others and more to deepen our relationship with the Lord. We were discussing our options as a family with our 2 sons. Ultimately, we just decided to take a step of faith, sell our home and make ourselves available to go where we were needed. If you had told me one year ago that we would be where we are today and doing what we’re doing, I would have laughed. Laughed because…this new life we’re living is way out of my comfort zone and I would have never agreed to it had I known what would be involved. And yet, I’m finding it strangely comfortable and exciting. I’m amazed at the way I feel in the midst of some crazy situations…slowly letting go of the need to have constant control over my schedule and a perfectly clutter-free home in favor of spending time loving and caring for those around me…taking the time to sit down and connect with those that come into our house…and that’s a lot since we’ve moved. I still struggle to give up control of my life and allow God to guide my days, but it’s definitely getting easier…mostly because I don’t have control around here most of the time!

Our favorite part of our new home is that we’ve added two more boys to the mix…along with their friends and girlfriends. One amazing college student came to live in our garage apartment this summer and last weekend we had another precious college student move into the house with us. It’s wall to wall boys (even the dog is a boy)…and they have taught me so much already. Here’s the thing about boys…they don’t expect perfection. My own boys have been telling me this for years, but it has taken some “objective outsiders” to drive the point home! They’re helping me shift my focus from creating a perfect and comfortable life for my family to living a life focused on relationships. They don’t care if there’s laundry stacked on the stairs or mud on the rug…as long as there’s a basketball goal, a guitar and some food around, they’re all happy. And they don’t care about making plans…just grab a ball, go outside and see who shows up to play…have a random thought and act on it right now…no planning required. There are boys chopping things, throwing things, burning things, singing things, laughing about things…constantly. Here’s our youngest guy chopping wood for the fire pit…I took the picture from the kitchen window…scary to get any closer…


And one other thing…if someone needs help, boys will stop (some quicker than others) what they’re doing to help. They’re teaching me daily about what’s really important in this life…and I’m so thankful for the experience.

So…here’s what today looks like in our neck of the woods…


Got dinner in the Crockpot early this morning…there’s what’s left of the cake we baked at 8:00 last night…


…all of us took our turn using our one working shower because we have a leak that has taken our other shower out of commission…

…went out to take the youngest to school and the car wouldn’t start…husband headed to get it repaired…



…walked behind the fence to get my hair cut at the neighboring salon…

…will head out back when I finish writing this post to clean the B&B for guests who will arrive tomorrow…

…heading out to the cutting garden at some point today to water the seedlings…here’s the garden when we got it this summer…

2011 Aug 08 013

…and here it is today…so far we have Centaurea, Sweet Peas, False Queen Anne’s Lace ‘Green Mist’ & ‘Black Knight’, Larkspur and Nigella growing…



…then back home to grab a bite to eat, wait for the tile guy to show up to assess the shower damage…if he fixes it, he’ll be my hero, but I’m not holding my breath (that’s my attempt at being flexible)…my family likes to call it being pessimistic…I like to think of myself as being “realistic”…maybe I’ll do some laundry while I wait…


…then pick up the one boy who can’t drive yet from school (that’s assuming the car is running by then)…back home for dinner with whoever stops in to eat (it’s different every night)…then the kids will head off to a youth Bible study and I’ll sit down to write tomorrow’s blog post.

Never could I have dreamed up this life, but I’ve never felt more blessed and alive. I’m so thankful for the relationships that have come about through this experience and for the changes my heart has undergone as a result. I’m still amazed at what God does in my life when I allow Him to be a part of my ‘everyday’…

Hope you have a great Wednesday! If you’re still reading, you should get a prize! Thanks for allowing me to take a little diversion from flowers…we’ll get back to them tomorrow…



  1. So beautiful! thank you for sharing this peek into your daily life.I love it!
    Focusing on the things that truly matter sure make up a life worth living don’t they? I’m struggling to implement this in my own world.

    P.S.-your cutting garden is looking GREAT!

  2. Funny you should post this today. My husband just had a second (skype) interview for a church job in Ohio — 5 hours from our current home, and 10 hours from our families. I’m both excited and terrified by the prospect. Thanks for sharing your heart as you adjust to the unexpected changes in your life. God has a plan for all of us!

  3. Mimi says:

    Amy, If you can’t share your authentic self on your own blog then where? Nice to get a glimpse behind the scenes.To get to know you a bit more. Thanks!

  4. I wondered where you were today…my usual first blog to look at was the same lovely article as yesterday. Glad you felt ok to share a glimpse of daily life with us. It sounds exciting and challenging with all the unknowns, but glad you are rolling with it, enjoying the ride. The old poem about “cobwebs will keep” comes to mind a lot for me these days too.
    Human interaction is way more important than immaculate house and perfect schedule. We just have to remind ourselves of that fact.

  5. So sweet, Amy- thank you for sharing!

  6. The older I get the more I feel the same way as you.. I really dont care that the Christmas tree decoration box has been sitting out for 3 days in the middle of the floor, or that the tile in my kitchen. and it’s 9:00 and the little ones are NOT in bed. it is what it is. Life is good. Now go have a nice day!

  7. Liz says:

    These types of posts are my favorite. Photos of gorgeous floral designs inspire my creative side, but talk of living a fulfilling life and telling of how God has blessed your family inspires my heart to focus more on those little things and not get too wrapped up in “what I do”, but who I am when I’m NOT doing what I do. Does that make any sense?? lol Love you Amy!

  8. Oh how I love you, Amy. I too love being spontaneous as long as it is well planned. 😉 I wish I were seeing you and the new home this month.

  9. Kim Sanders says:

    I wondered where you were;) Your always my first click of the day. Thank you so much for sharing….your day sounds all too familiar. I moved my business back into my home some months back and it has made all the difference in the world. I used to work my family around my ‘job’, but now i work my ‘job’ around my family:) The dishes pile up and as dose the laundry, but there’s always time for a little soccer, arts-n-crafts, a run back to school for the lost lunch box. I do love reading the real life stuff -Thank you Amy!

  10. Amanda Mae says:

    Love these heartfelt posts, Amy. Thank you for sharing not only gorgeous flowers, but life as well!

  11. Amy you’re just great. I love this post and how you share it all…

  12. Love the sharing and do keep writing these posts! It is easy to get so busy with everyday chores that we forget a lot of other important things, but when God is in the center, everything will simply fall into place, thank you for reminding me this. And can’t wait to see the flowers start blooming in your garden!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dear Amy–It was a delight speaking with you from Holly’s. SORRY we got disconnected. You are inspiring others to follow God’s leading through post like this one. He has a divine plan every day. It is our choice to accept or decline his wooing. Acceptance brings blessings and true contentment! Matthew 7:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. God Bless and Merry CHRISTmas!!

  14. Erica says:

    Thank you for the post and the glimpse into your new life. Ahhh boys, never really got them until I had one- what you write is so true. Love, love, love your flower posts, so inspirational and helpful. This post was equally inspiring, great reminder to let go and see who shows up.


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