Sunday, May 18, 2008

Getting a few things off my chest

Some bloggers vent about their husbands, their pets, and various bodily fluids produced by their kids.

And the crowd goes wild. The blogger gets it off her chest, readers feel less alone, and ad money comes pouring in.

I'm not one of those bloggers.

Sharing the struggles (and there have been a lot this month, haven't there?) invites negativity to stay. That's not the kind of hospitality I try to practice.

I envision Like Merchant Ships as a short, pretty escape from the day-to-day grind--both mine and yours.

I appreciate everyday creativity, from a colorful salad or the delicate smocking on a thrift store dress.

I celebrate the fact that it doesn't cost much to have beauty in your life.

In many ways this blog is like my home. I grow more and more reluctant to open the door each morning. Other opinions are welcome, but not in mean spirit and not from anonymous commenters.

Why don't we raise the sash for some fresh air and let the sun shine in on a freshly wiped counter?

If you ignore the cereal crunched on the floor, I will, too. At least for a moment, while we cheer each other on.

120 comments:

Christi said...

Meredith, I don't comment very often - maybe once a week - but I have been reading you for a couple (few?) years now.

I love your blog for all of the reasons you have listed. You've inspired me everyday. I learn so much from you. I applaud you for having the courage to stick to your convictions as they pertain to your blog.

You are a breath of fresh air on the internet, and one of my first stops every morning.

Thank you for the beauty you lend to the internet.

Chief Family Officer said...

Meredith, you hit the nail on the head (as always). I find that I tend to avoid the sites where the general tone/attitude is negative, no matter how popular they are. They just make me feel bad, leave a sour taste in my mouth.

The opposite is true here, of course. I love your optimism and faith, your cheerfulness and encouragement. Your "anybody can do this too" way of sharing all that you do.

Obviously I'm not alone :)

Dirkey said...

I love this blog and the way it inspires me. I'll grab a broom and sweep up the cereal as you wash the tea cups as we continue a lovely conversation after morning tea :)

Jane said...

Sadly, nice is not as popular as it once was. With the internet has come a host of new ways to bully.

On the other hand, there are places like this, where role models like you, share the *details* of how to live with grace in an increasingly confusing,costly, sometimes scary world.

Those details that you share leave you open to unkindness. But, the details also help people like me connect the dots in my own life. In many ways you have become a virtual life coach.

I too come here daily for the example of finding the good life in a clean counter or a colorful salad.

Plus, I have saved a lot by dropping my magazine subscriptions. Who needs real simple? LMS is all that and so much more! Seriously.

I just wish you had a teenage clone providing just this same encouragement for that set.

Thank you for all that you do share!

Hélène said...

One of the reasons I love your blog is because it is so positive and encouraging. You show how to achieve the beautiful at a low cost and I love reading about that. I also like that the posts are short and can be read in only a minute.

Jennifer said...

I am sorry you are having a rough time. We all have days, months, even years like that. This is your blog and you can post whatever you want. We love you anyway! I hope things turn around.

Sue said...

I REALLY enjoy reading your blog each day. My children are grown and beginning families of their own. I am thrilled to see moms at home with their children creating warm, nurturing and lovely environments such as yours. Keep up the good work and take care of you too!

I appreciated your bravery to ask advice about your outfits and can remember being where you are- trying to dress nicely, comfortably and affordably while pregnant. Choose what you feel comfortable in and remember it is not the clothes that make the woman!
Sue

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
Your blog is wonderful! I enjoy your writtings tremendously. Thank you for putting yourself "out there" for all to see how beautiful we can live and while being frugal too! You are such an inspiration to me. May God continue to bless you and yours. Thank You! Kimberley

FatcatPaulanne said...

You know you can change the comments section to not allow anonymous comments. You can also enable comment moderation.

You don't need that kind of garbage on your blog or in your life. You need to focus on the good ...'whatever is lovely' and all that.

I enjoy your blog.

laurel said...

...and all those reasons above are why, when I open my bloglines in the morning, I read yours at the end...saving the best for last.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that I could put into words why it is, but your blog is in my top three favorites when I go to my reader. I always come visit right away if you have posted.

Even today when I am visiting my sister and logged in as her, I have to stop by and see what you are up to. I guess it's your blog philosophy!

Love, The Nester

Jenni said...

I am so thankful that I "advertised" my blog to so many friends and family members early on. It keeps me conscious of exactly what I write and the tone in which I write it.

You are a blessing and inspiration to us all!

Lindenhaus said...

I love your blog too! It's so fun to see what you do on a budget. I know that sometimes there are negative comments from people, but I think we need to be understanding that others are maybe having a tough time in life and take those comments with a grain of salt. I always say a prayer right then and there that God will help that person with whatever problem they are having. Maybe they are frustrated or at the end of their rope. I know it's hard not to take it personally, but it is probably just a person needing some love and support. I know that "We are to count it all joy when we encounter various trials, for we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness." This is SO hard for me (!!!), but I know that sweet sites like this can help us all to reach that place! Keep up the good work, Meredith. Can't wait to see the yard sale haul for the summer!

{Karla} said...

Your blog always slows me down. I just love it.

And if any troll could know you in real life, they'd realize what a jerk they are being.

xo ~ K

Cinda said...

Whoever left those comments needs to get a life! Really, what good is posting something like that?

Adventures In Babywearing said...

You definitely are a breath of fresh air! Thank you!

Steph

Karen said...

{{{Meredith}}} It's difficult when people are harsh to someone as kind as you. I've been enjoying your blog for some time and I apprecite your transparence.
I read somewhere that a 'southern' woman will respond to criticism with a 'Well, Bless your heart!" Maybe we should all be 'blessing those hearts' - it may be the only blessing they receive. Take care, and thank you for your blog.

Mrs. Gunning said...

I love this blog. Keep it up!!!

Also, I read that at least one person mentioned it, but something that has thus far saved me a lot of headache on my blog is to have it set so that only people who "say who they are" can comment. I don't remember the exact setting that it's called, but there's apparently an account outside of blogger they can have.

Seems like people don't want to post snarky things when others have a better idea of who they are. *shrugs*

;)

You do a great job of creating a welcome, peaceful tone on here! God's blessings,
Jess

Susie said...

This is my first time to comment here, but just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. You always have such wonderful ideas and such an upbeat feel to your posts.

Renee said...

I like how you are yourself and from time to time be real on your feelings. We all have bad days, things come up and honestly the blogs that seem to show a REAL person and not show a perfect lifestyle that I do not in anyway have is a blog that I come back to.

I have my blog favorites and they are the ones that have the same qualities that seem to show the real person behind the blogs exterior.

Let the sunshine shine on your shoulders and let the nesting of your little precious baby begin!

Hugs~ Renee

Anonymous said...

You give so much to the people who read your blog, and I am sure you are a very kind person in "real" life too. One of the things that draws me to your blog every day is the fact that you feel like a real person; not some TV person or someone like Martha Stewart who has a staff of 100's to make her look good. You live a nice life with a real budget in mind. It inspires others. My sweet daughter in law has recently been reading your blog too. After I told her about it she had to go find it..so there you have another fan.
I believe with all my heart that if you can not say something nice to a person, keep it to yourself. Why spread sour grapes around. That just makes everyone miserable. Bless you Meredith. You are a wonderful friend to a lot of people you do not even KNOW. Roxie

Melissa said...

Isn't it amazing how just one or two harsh remarks can take away the joy of 100 other kind ones?

Like Merchant Ships is a breath of fresh air to others and I pray that you will really know that in your heart. Don't give the immature comments another thought!

Many Blessings,
Melissa

martha said...

Your blog is one of the bright spots I look forward to each day. Please don't change a thing.

Advice about your recent request for fashion advice:
When you read the comments on your blog, how do you know how to measure it? There is NO way of knowing if the author shares your taste, values, or social background. Chances are they do not share your age or body type. I guess I would say you need to trust your own instincts.

I am a a size 14, busty, classics-loving, internationally traveling, mom. IF you would like my opinoin, I thought BOTH your options were lovely. I realize that they both probably look even better in person than they do online. I imagine that the aqua dress enhances your eyes and facial coloring very nicely. I favor bias-cut linen for the beautiful drape. However, I spill alot, and that dress would not be very forgiving. So, if it were me, I would bring both. Push up or hem the navy sleeves to a 3/4 length. Metallic or taupe sandals would be good with either. Get clinical strength antiperspirant, some matte makeup, and nice jewelry. A simple French or American mani/pedi, done the day before, will give you a boost. I always travel with Shout stain-removing wipes.
My last piece of advice is to prepare well, then just let go and have fun. Your children are beautiful and brilliant. Your pregnancy will be celebrated. You will do fine.
I have to attend several 5 star events each year, and I have found that I fret too much. Just smile, and focus on others. One trick I use in conversations with difficult people is to say something like.... "This is such a special event, we've been looking forward to it for months.... What is the next thing that YOU are looking forward to?" This question usually gets even the grumpiest folks to focus on something they enjoy. And the rest takes care of itself.
I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip!

Kath said...

((((((((((hugs)))))))))
It is a pleasure to stop by and "visit" you each day.

Please do not change!
As I, too, live in the Nashville area...maybe someday I'll be blessed to meet you in real life. :~)

Kath

Cathy said...

Hi Meredith,

I usually don't comment but I read your blog because it IS so refreshing! I've begun to steer clear of blogs that bring me down--you're so right--negativity likes to camp in our souls and if I allow it, negativity begins building a permanent dwelling place.

Thanks for the fresh breeze :)

Tubo Family said...

Meredith's honest but cheerful and beauty seeking attitude are why I love this blog so much and look forward to it everyday. And I learn from other readers too, like Martha's comment today about conversations with difficult people--it will help me greatly at holiday parties with the inlaw clan.

Note to other readers/commenters: after Fussy's baby shower I realized that I could send a voluntary tip to any blogger so I just did that for Meredith...just use likemerchantshipsatyahoo.com at paypal. No pressure here--obviously many readers seeking frugality advice don't have two extra dimes to rub together--but just an idea if there is anyone else thinking "This is content I will pay for."

amyruggiero said...

You are an inspiration to so many-and to me.
Thank you for keeping things positive when we can find negative anywhere. It is like having a cup of coffee with a friend.
Thanks again for keeping it real-and really refreshing.
Amy

Missy said...

Merideth, i am sorry that you are having to deal with some that do not share your kind spirit. As another mentioned, some people are content to spread their negativity, rather than look for encouragement through others.

I also have to add that you were the one that opened my eyes to the fact that frugal doesn't have to be ugly. Previously, I always thought of furnishing a home on a thrifty budget meant finding whatever one could and then throwing it all together. Thanks for showing me that with some careful though and a prayer that one can do so much more.

~hugs,
Missy

mama k said...

((hugs))
Long-time reader, sometimes commenter... It's your blog so write about what you want in whatever style you choose! Ignore the haters. And as all the previous comments stated, your positive attitude and "cheerful frugality" are refreshing.
Those that don't like your blog are free to go elsewhere. There is plenty of reading material else where on the web.

I keep my blog like a journal of my life. So I am honest w/ my blog readers when I'm going through a rough patch. It helps ME to know that I'm not alone. But it is entirely different than being negative under the guise of "witty" or just to be one of the popular snarky girls.

And I'm glad you were able to share this w/ us so we can all encourage you to keep-on! :)

Daffodil Hill said...

Sweetie, your blog is beautiful, and you are a beautiful person. Ignore the harsh comments. They aren't worth your time. Your blog is one of the nicest places on the internet, and one I enjoy daily. Hold your head high, keep your eyes on Jesus, and keep doing exactly what you've been doing. I appreciate you very much!

Amber said...

I'm another one of those who don't normally comment ... but I just want to say that I love your blog. Yours is one that when I open up bloglines, I scroll past the others to read your new entries first. I always enjoy your blog and I hope that you continue to open the door for us!!!

God Bless!!!

Amber

Anonymous said...

The mean comments on your blog, directed towards you, have hurt me, too. I hate seeing someone being that mean to another person, just to deliberately hurt them, and then hiding behind an "annonymous" name. When I was pregnant with my second son, we attended an outdoor tractor show in the summer. It's held outdoors and everyone just finds a spot to sit along the parade route. I was busy taking care of my then 3-year old, trying to find a place where we could sit down on the lawn chairs we had brought (with my big, pregnant belly!), when some elderly lady swatted me hard on the rear and said in a loud voice, "Move your fat a** out of the way!!" To say that I felt like dying on the spot would be an understatement. I finished setting up my chairs and, through a blur of tears, went to find my husband and in-laws who were busy getting the tractor ready. One look at them and the tears just spilled out. I told my mother-in-law what had happened and she just kind of chuckled, shook her head, and gave me a hug. I remember her saying that some people as just simply mean through and through, and it has nothing to do with anyone except them. In reflecting on that episode over the years, I have come to believe that there was a dark, spiritual element to that encounter as well. Your blog is touching a nerve, Meredith. For many of us, your blog not only encourages us to live out our lives in a more beautiful physical/material way, but also touches the spiritual side of us as well. And I think that some people, who hate anything that reflects on God's goodness and who are very mean-spirited (like the elderly lady at the tractor show), make it a point to try and hurt you, humiliate you, and do everything they can to defeat you. (And I'm sure there have been some days when you've felt like they succeeded!) But take heart, Meredith!! You are much loved, and you can rest in the knowledge that those who are being mean are doing so simply because you are communicating so effectively the message that God's love supplies everything that we need to live beautiful lives that honor Him and bless our families. Maybe you ought to think about changing how people leave comments on your blog. I comment under annonymous, but always leave my name, because I don't have a blog myself and don't even know what the other categories mean!! Maybe you could have a little tutorial somewhere on your site as to what the other categories mean, and how to leave a comment that is not annonymous, and then simply remove the annonymous function from your comment section. You wouldn't necessarily open up your home and your door to just anyone, and maybe you need to "lock the front door" of your blog and see who's there first, before you open it up, too.
From a reader friend who delights in you AND your blog-
Susan from Illinois

Angela said...

Hi Meredith, you are one of the first (and now few) blogs I read. You inspire me to be more beautiful, and I really admire your openness!!!! I'm glad that hopefully there are more of us positive commenters than the grouchy negatives. :) Thanks for being this place of beauty and inspiration. In my effort to spend less time online, I rarely comment, but I'm reading. hugs, Angela :)

SK and Family said...

Hear, hear!!

Thank you for addressing this issue! I find your blog uplifting and inspiring.
:)
Kat

Anonymous said...

Like Susan in Illinois says, I post a comment under anonymous because I do not have a blog of my own and do not know what those other things stand for or how to use them. I am not the most computer 'smart' woman around. My 8 year old grandson knows more about the computer than I do...so please forgive me. Also I would understand if you "locked" your blog door. Roxie

gracemercyandpeace said...

Well said, Meredith.

I am bothered (still, at my age, and in spite of what I know about sinful human nature) by the display of downright mean-ness and cowardice behind some of those 'anonymous' comments. UGH!

You have never been offensive, even in your most honest posts.

There are some things I stand in awe of about the South, and your gracious ways embody the best of your culture. Thank you for this blog.

warmly,

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Meredith, you are a sweet, gentle, kind and beautiful lady, deserving only sweet and loving comments.Like others, I read your blog faithfully but have never commented before, but it seems that you really need to know that there are way more of us out here in cyberspace that love you than there are mean ones! I love reading your blog and appreciate that you have the courage to let us have a little glimpse of your beautiful world. Please keep your door open... it gives hope and comfort to see that such loveliness and grace still exists in the world.

Sending love your way, Tonya

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

I rarely comment or look at comments on your blog. I don't like to sift through the emotional crappola that other's can put out. I checked this one and it must be kizmit. I love your blog and check it sometimes twice a day. It give me a lift. My year 07/07- present has been difficult. You give me something to look forward to with expecting anything from me.

Even the sister post helped me greatly. I am a younger sister with an older sister who makes questionable choices.

Just wanted to say thanks.

A

Becoming Me said...

U just found your blog. I am sorry if you received mean comments. I love reading positive blogs. I have two blogs. One, just a random family blog and the other is more of a ministry. I do keep both blogs very real and honest, because I have lived my life too long pretending everything is rosy, but at the same time, I don't invite ugliness into my blog and tend not to visit places that do. I hope you had a beautiful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,

Always a reader, rarely a commenter, but felt the need to AMEN the fact that you are a breath of fresh air and are soooo appreciated by many of us around the country. It is sad that others do not think of what they say as 'real words to real people,' but there are those of us who hate a day where we don't get to check in with the beauty that shines at Like Merchant Ships! I'm so excited for you as you expand your family and I look forward to continuing to use your example as my husband and I start our own in July.

You are a wonderful example of beauty, peace and thrift amoung the hectic rat race of life. Even when you are having a bad day! :)

Heather

Ewokgirl said...

Popularity has a price, and unfortunately for you lately, that price has been mean people trying to knock you down. It has hurt me to read some of those comments, so I know it has to hurt a million times worse for you when you see such blatant cruelty. Just know that people who do that are angry at something, and for whatever reason, they've chosen you as their personal whipping boy.

Thankfully, for every unkind comment, you seem to have 100 nice, encouraging ones. Your blog is truly a ray of sunshine. It's a pleasant place to visit, and it's the first blog I check every day.

mjpuzzlemom said...

Preach it sister!


MJ

Kathleen Grace said...

I love your blog Meredith. What is wrong with people!? I think if you go into your preferences you can block "anonymous" comments. I might help. I hope so. I always tell my husband, I think blogs are for the person writing them and should be a place to feel free to express whatever you want. If someone doesn't agree or like it, they just shouldnt come back. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, I almost cried when I read your words just now. Why? It isn't because I feel sorry for you, or because you can't find a good-looking maternity outfit for the wedding you have to go to; it's not because I'm angry, or envious (in a mean way) of you, or because I think you're expecting too much of people. It's simply because I want to say, "Yes!...oh, yes, I agree so strongly." Life has been, shall we say, pretty hard for me & my family these past couple years. A friend of mine thinks my life is quite rosy, because I don't dewll on the worst of things in each & every conversation. I'm hardly delusional about our difficulties...I just don't think anyone is helped by focusing on what's wrong all the time. I may be needed for much tougher battles than the ones I'm enduring now. It seems to me that I should feed my soul with as much beauty & wonder as I can, while I can...from the beautiful intricacies of a flower bud to the the way the sunshine looks as it reflects off my newly washed floor. These are all good things!

And now, I'm going to go & read some of your other commenters' remarks.

Many blessings to you, Meredith, & thank you for hosting such a happy place to come to,

Brenda

Stephanie said...

Meredith, I am SO sorry for the some of the ugly comments you got on your wedding outfit post. I mean, truly horrified is the only way to describe it.

I know you're probably set on your outfit for the wedding, but I wanted to chime in. I live in South Florida - probably as hot, humid and tropical as the state gets.

If the wedding is at night, you will be PERFECTLY fine in the dark blue with longer sleeves. It's humid, admittedly - and you may be a little warm if it's a sunset wedding, but as soon as the sun is low enough in the sky and it's dark, you will be perfectly comfortable. I would only suggest maybe some underarm shields (I use them whenever I'm going to be "dressy" and outside).

Good luck!

LISA said...

Meredith,

keep up the good work. YOur blog is an escape for me. You help me to appreciate the beautiful things and to keep my perspective, especially when I tend to get caught up in the ECB's, and FAR's.... (The desire to spend to save of which I am guilty)

Kim said...

Meredith, you have been very gracious to "that person", and they certainly don't deserve it, what with the mean things they've said to you. They seem very bitter. That's not your fault.

I know it would be a lot more work for you, but I encourage you to consider moderating comments. It's so freeing. There is no law that says you have to open your blog up to let just anyone comment. "That person" seems to enjoy upsetting you and others. Why give them the chance to spew their venom in your lovely home?

Kimberly said...

I really like visiting your world. Thanks for sharing. Luckily blogging, as is life filled with wonderful people with kinds. Unfortunately, it's also got it's stinkers. "Set your mind on things above...." Not the grumps. ;)

TJ said...

Meredith I'm so glad you are here! I understand what you are saying about people that feel anonymity gives them the right to be mean or rude. Keep up the good work for there are so many of us that use your inspiration to do better in our own homes and lives.

If you must get rid of the anon comments, there are some of us who would gladly help those without an account to get one set up! I helped my granny in mexico, although she is still having difficulty leaving comments on mine.

songbirdy said...

{{{hugs}}} You're 'mission statement' is true and a very good point.

I'll admit that sometimes I blog a 'rant' but its more because I just want to acknowledge the frustration within myself and be done with it. Then I can continue on being that which I was created to be.

Either way, I tend to agree that those angry comments are the words of persons in deep pain. That's how I manage those kinds of comments.

Thanks for everything and keeping your chin up and working on inspiring those of us whom you bless nearly daily!

Renae said...

Thank you for opening your door. I always enjoy my visits.

It is always easy to criticize, but much more difficult to see beauty during difficult circumstances.

stephanie said...

Two thumbs up for your post and your approach to blogging ... as you can see here, you are most loved for YOU and what you bring to our blogging community. Much hugs and maybe we can connect before baby #3 arrives (and I am struck with sick children for another winter.) LOL

Carrien said...

I found myself wanting to take anonymous and turn them over my knee. Probably because I'm in such a parenting zone all the time.

There is no excuse for such meanness, and I suspect the commenter is likely jealous of you and the blessings you do enjoy.

Hugs and blessings. Thanks for the breath of fresh air. I too come here every day to see what you've written.

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
When I read the post asking our advice between the 2 outfits, I couldn't help thinking that you seem so nice and are such a wonderful, thoughtful hostess that I hoped you would have a wonderful time being a guest. I hope you can relax, smile look at your husband and children and know you have an inner joy and radiance money cannot buy. You are right - A merry heart doeth good like medicine. It works better than the best cosmetics too! -Melissa

TracyMichele said...

Mean people s_ck. :(

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

I just wanted to come out of lurkdom to tell you that I really enjoy your blog. Just as any "in real life" friend situation, I can tell you are going through a down time right now. Every day I am afraid that you will not find anything "cheerful" about frugality and decide not to blog as much. I am always thrilled to see when you do find the strength to share your life with us. I so rejoiced over your situation with the blazer for your son. My first thought was, good for Meredith, she deserves to have this go her way. After all it is your reward for all of the hard work that you put into thrifting and being frugal. I read through some of the many comments left on your last few entries and I'm not sure that I know which entries were the offending ones, but I hope that you don't let it get you down too much. I hope that you get your outfit together, have a great trip and enjoy yourself. You deserve it! Thanks for being my number one blog read every day!

Mary

Martha A. said...

You know, I really like your blog! You make everything look so pretty! Keep up the good work and don't let some meanies out there who do not know how to be nice anymore ruin your day!

Meredith said...

Thanks, y'all.

I appreciate all the nice comments, past and present.

I wanted to mention that it's not a specific comment, but a negative feeling in general. I think when we leave one negative post or one negative comment, it encourages others to do the same.

It is not one person in particular or even one comment. Just an overall reluctance to work on the blog

I have always struggled with how to handle comments, how to remove some, leave others up and still look like I'm having an open discussion.

I want to allow anonymous because I value the contributions our non-tech readers leave. Yet, I've avoided comment moderation because I don't want to feel tied to the computer all day, either.

We'll see!

Anyway, here's to a fresh new week ahead.

See you tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the non tech anonymous readers. i read your blog first, every single day and am so sorry that there has been negativity aimed at you. i do have one gentle suggestion (which came from my pastor): when I hear or read something mean spirited or cruel I stop for an instant and pray for the person commenting in such a way. They must have a very angry, lonely heart to lash out in that manner. I pray that they reconcile whatever conflicts they have and that they rejoin the Lord's community. Then I walk away from the incident (physically and mentally). You are loved and valued and please take heart. CB

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

I am another of the non-techies without a blog of my own. I always comment under "anonymous" with my name at the bottom. I do SO understand if you decide to remove the ability for anonymous posts, based on exactly what you're talking about. I'll still read your blog, even if I can't comment!

I do want to add, your blog is one I MUST check every day, simply because YOU ARE that refreshing breeze, that whiff of creativity and loveliness of spirit that we all long to have in our lives, and to create for our own loved ones. Yes, we all have our seasons of difficulty. And yes, most of us long to reach out in love to others, just as we long for the loving space provided by family and friends, in real life or online. To the people that cared not about being hurtful, I do extend a prayer, but I also pray for His protection for you and your tender, loving heart.

Please feel free to keep being a fresh breeze and a light of the Lord. I know He delights in you as much as we do.

Love and many blessings,

Michelle

Nancy said...

Meredith,
I read your blog daily. Seems that it's a requirement to get my day started on the right foot so to speak. I appreciate your ability to find the extraordinary in everyday life.

Lightening said...

Obviously what you do strikes a chord with a LOT of people which is fabulous!!! :)

I try to keep my personal blog positive most of the time but at the same time try to keep it "real". I have bad days like everyone else and that does strike a chord.

But it's your blog and it's important that you stick to what you feel is right for your blog!!!

Which I LOVE by the way. :)

Shelley said...

Meredith ~ Your blog is one of two that I check EVERY SINGLE DAY and you always give me a smile or something to think about. You just keep doing what you're doing and we'll (your faithful NAMED readers) will try to keep the positive karma flowing....love from Iowa :) Shelley

Rob and Erin said...

I really enjoy reading your blog and it gives me such inspiration for how to find and create beauty in my home and life. Thanks for bringing some beauty and niceness into this world. It seems that being mean and opinionated has taken over in all aspects of the world. Enjoy the fresh new week ahead of you.

Erin

Anonymous said...

i read your blog almost each day for the encouragement to look for the beauty in my everyday life and how to do it without breaking the bank. (i have loved your ideas to repurpose different objects around them home.) many blogs simply make me nauseated and irritable with their endless chatter about themselves or their seemingly perfect "Godward" life. i never feel as though you are "peddling" a lifestyle or hammering moralities toward us. i appreciate your willingness to be transparent at times and to look for the positive. that is what is REAL. may God bless you as you continue to do what you believe is His will for your sweet family and as you encourage others through this blog. love,julie

Me said...

Sharing the struggles (and there have been a lot this month, haven't there?) invites negativity to stay. That's not the kind of hospitality I try to practice.

In many ways this blog is like my home. I grow more and more reluctant to open the door each morning. Other opinions are welcome, but not in mean spirit and not from anonymous commenters.

I've been reading for awhile but I don't think I've ever left a comment but these words deserve a resounding amen.

The Spaids said...

Can I just say HOW MUCH I look forward to reading your blog when I come to the computer? I love your photography (which by the way is excellent), way with words, your kind and gentle spirit, and the fact that you aren't in it for the money! Thank you so much for being such a great place to check in on, and for sharing your life with me and the rest of the online community.
I am so sorry for the negative comments you received. They were undeserved, and I think you look beautiful pregnant in both outfits. We ALL know that pregnancy, while the most amazing thing we can do by growing another human inside us, is not kind to our bodies to the eye sometimes. I've got stretchmarks for miles, but I wouldn't trade my little girl for perfect skin ever! And thank you for being so forgiving. It is a hard thing to do sometimes.

Sandy said...

Meredith - I feel like your blog is fresh and full of zest and life. I'm so happy I found you - no matter what the post! Seriously - it's like sitting down with a friend and talking about things that are REAL. That is why I adore you ... xo

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

I only comment once in awhile, but let me just tell you this (and I think I speak for a LOT of women, here, just taking liberties!...)
Your blog is my favorite. End.of.story.!I think your honesty and graceful heart really shine through the small, yet impactfull, posts.

Candace said...

Oh, that reminds me I forgot to sweep the floor today.......ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Amy said...

I know that we have talked about this before, but I just want to say how much I understand. I have a hard time with this too and I am here for you! Love you, my friend!

Meredith said...

Re the bra issue:

Oh no, I was not offended at ALL by that suggestion. You're right--andI could see it as soon as I saw the photo myself.

I bought new bras three months ago but the growth during this pregnancy has astounded me and quite frankly, made it impossible to judge fit anymore. That's why finding a dress this time around has been so hard.

I was just trying to add a little tongue-in-cheek humor to a serious discussion.

Karen said...

We all have our down days (months?), Meredith. Negative people certainly don't improve our situation! Be assured--I AM the 74th commenter today, after all!--that those Negative Nelly's are in the vast minority. We love you & your simple, lovely perspective!

Anonymous said...

OK, seriously, someone has thought of something negative to say here, or to you? I can't even imagine. (I don't know background as my rss reader has been down.)

You know, I told my husband recently that I should not have started a business but rather I should have started a blog writing angry rants about my neighbors, complaints/descriptions about my boobs and pithy stories about my kid -- I'd be making more money!...Have to say I am shocked by how popular and lucrative the angry, out there, rude pile-on women's blogs are.

So yes, keep the window open and keep the fresh air circulating.
--carrie from bilingual in the boonies.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,

I have read your blog for a long time now (shortly after you started it). I am so sorry to hear about others leaving nasty comments. I consider your blog to be one of my all-time favorites since you have such wonderful insights and advice.

Please do not let others bring you down with negative words. I read once that people who have something nasty to say to others for no apparent reason are just so unhappy with their lives that they want to spread the unhappiness. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU, IT IS ABOUT THEM.

Blessings to you always, Meredith.

Nancy C.-Stevensville, MI

remodelingthislife said...

I can't think of anything to say that the others have not. It's sad that one mean spirited comment can ruin a beauty and inspiration filled place like this with all the positive and happy flowing from it. I hate that those things even get weight or attention but I also know it's impossible to just shrug off and pretend they don't happen. Many hugs from a reader who loves your blog.

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Thanks for the encouragement you give to all of us. It has been a huge help to me in the middle of a very tough time. I appreciate knowing that you will reinforce the attitude I also try to cultivate - to focus on the positive and keep going.

Try not to let any nasty comments get you down. The fact that anyone thinks you are worth picking on is really just a reflection of the impact you have here. Just delete and ignore, as much as you can.

Have a great day.

Jennifer

Randi said...

I love the positive tone of your blog and really do see it as a breath of fresh air. Thanks for writing!

Jeana said...

You nailed it, and I'm glad you are who you are. I've considered not allowing anonymous comments, for the same reasons. I have no qualms about deleting them, though.

hsgbdmama said...

Merideth, I've been reading your blog for a couple of years as well and continue to read it for what you offer, which is wonderful quality content. Don't change!

I personally steer away from bloggers who gripe about their lives as it is simply not interesting. I also do not blog about these things, rather choosing to keep things more upbeat on the whole.

Edi said...

Just wanted to let you know, as many others have, how much I enjoy your blog. I always enjoy the times when there is more than one posting in a day :)

I don't think your blog is "controversial" so I can't imagine how folks find opportunities to be negative. I guess one thing is - if a person is already negative and full of anger - then a PLEASANT blog will be controversial b/c they are so focused on how hard/terrible/miserable their life is.

The Bible says "Rejoice with those who rejoice" ...

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I love your blog! It is welcoming and lovely. Just like you. It has an honesty to it that reflects who you are. Thanks for sharing your heart and tips! I'm glad I found you.

Continue in the Faith, knowing that He is faithful.

I am for you!
Lynn J :)

Sheila said...

I love your blog, and your kindness! So keep up with what you're doing.

This may seem off topic, but I was reading a review of Prince Caspian and the reviewers all hated it because it said things like, "self-sacrifice is essential", "you can't be a true hero without being humble," or "sometimes you have to be part of something greater than yourself". It was such a counter-cultural message in our world of get all that you can for yourself.

And yet all those things are exactly WHY I liked Prince Caspian. It encouraged you to be better than you are. To aim for something more godly.

That's why we all like you, too. If some people don't, then they're just like those reviewers. They're missing the point. And that's sad.

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Mar said...

Meredith, I hope you're having a great Monday. I LOVE your blog and find your frugal life and your ability to do things with "flair" to be so inspirational and motivating. Thanks for opening these windows and letting the breezes in on my life!

P.S. I don't have a blog, but if there's a way to update the comments section to require an e-mail address or have us register to post comments, maybe that would cut down on the people who hide behind the anonymous nature of the Internet to try to bring everyone else down...

Ann said...

I enjoy your "pretty escape." What is so attractive is the atmosphere of serenity you create even in the midst of everyday life. Laughter in a comfortable, friendly place is for me. I try to live by the instructions to not tear down but only build up and exhort others. It would be heaven if we all did as we have been taught, but this is our temporary home in the world, not gonna happen.

Taleyna said...

Wow-I hope you are definitely feeling the overwhelming amount of love and prayer headed your way Meredith! Please keep opening that door-it's such an inspiration for us all. I have to say the clothes posts have been so fascinating to me. I'm so not a clothes person I would have no suggestions!

P.S. While I never want to see you embrace negativity it was reassuring to know you sometimes have crumbs on the floor!

tracy said...

I read your blog daily to get a moment of respite in a busy day as a freelance writer and s-a-h mom of a 3-year-old (another due in 4 weeks). I am glad that you post about difficult things; 100% sunshine makes me feel alone. I'm typing on a computer with a broken hinge, I have a facial rash from pregnancy (I hope that's what it's from, anyway), our 1993 car is making a terrible squeaking noise and my sister-in-law just sent a photo e-mail of her fabulous life (she's a wealthy pharmaceutical rep, and I know I'll never catch up to that). Please continue to post the honest truth of your life. The tough stuff lifts me up as much as the good. And, by the way, your taste is fabulous! Your home is beautiful! Your children are gorgeous! You love the Lord and reflect him in all that you do. Thanks for everything.
Tracy in La Vergne, TN

Anonymous said...

I have read all the comments and I do not see much negativity rather a lot of concerned constructive critisism - if you post and invite opinions you have to accept that everyone is going to be as honest as they can . The trouble with this whole thing is
it is extremely stressful, frustrating, expensive and depressing and in the end you just have to relax - remind yourself that the wedding day is not all about you and pick something out of your closet that looks nice and you feel comfortable in and enjoy yourself.
I feel it is a mistake to ask anyone else what you look good in - no one is going to want to hear the answer
Lizzie

angela said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you have had to deal with some unpleasant "company". I don't comment often or read the comments.
I guess people should practice what our mothers always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
After all, if they are not enjoying your blog as well as every one else, why do they bother stopping by?

Sharon said...

Meridith, I don't visit your blog daily,but usually once or twice a week. I'm sorry that you've gotten some cruel comments. Some people have nothing better to do than to tear another down. Please try not to let the negativity bother you. It's not worth the emotional draining that it causes. Keep up your awesome blog and try to stay focused on the good things. :)

lizzykristine said...

I go through phases like that, too, when blogging is a drag instead of a joy. Sometimes it is based on comments, etc., other times on my mood. :)

Either way, my husband always encourages me to keep going for a while, until I know what's going on. I usually am back to enjoying blogging within a couple weeks.

As dozens of others have already said, I really do enjoy the tone of your blog. It is like a breeze of calm and beauty!

Anonymous said...

Meredith I love you! I love your blog and the ideas and things you do inspire me! Ignore the negative comments (I know that's hard to do) and just know that there are hundreds of us cheering you on as you go about your beautiful life! Many thanks!

kris in Nebraska

artgirlATL said...

Bravo!!!!!!!!!!! I come to your blog for a fresh perspective on decorating and home making on a penny. And I love that it's a very positive space. Have a great day!

Jackie said...

Meredith, I love your blog. It gives me great ideas and is so refreshing. Please do not let a few creeps ruin what to me and others a wonderful place to come and visit.

GiddyRobinMama said...

I enjoy this blog, sorry there are those who are rude.
People who are mean or cheat, I wish I had a big sign that says,
God saw that!
Oh well, hopefully they will realize their error and change their ways, sometimes its only experience or a straight up rebuke that makes people realize their meanness.

Never stop being joyful and nice, and hopefully one day they will follow your example.

Meredith said...

Lizzie, I'm afraid you misunderstood. The comments on the dress post are FINE--I ASKED for constructive criticism and I got it.

That's what I wanted.

What I did not want on that post--or on any number of recent posts--are ugly and angry comments like "You are so fat, why do you even try?" and "You are the worst kind of stingy cheapskate I can think of" etc.

Pure rudeness that cannot be called constructive criticism in any form.

Some people have seen these comments pop up before I could get a chance to delete them, and that's what I wanted to talk about.

~K~ said...

I'm sorry you had some rude comments on your free advice about the wedding attire!

I was thinking about you because when I was pregnant with both of my kids, I was in Florida, in the summer time! I would choose a feminine sleeveless dress that you might feel comfy in, and a light sweater or cape. That way, if for some reason the party moves indoors and the a/c is on, you won't get chilly.

Honestly, I'm sure you will look great no matter what you wear! Expectant mothers just have a glow about them!

Blessings to you

Amanda said...

Another very frequent reader ~ very infrequent commenter: I love reading your blog and the inspiration it provides. I love the pictures, too ~ as someone else mentioned, it's like reading a beautiful magazine full of ideas. Thanks for what you do.

Becky said...

Another frequent reader, non-frequent commenter checking in here.

Try not to worry about the negative, unkind thoughts. Unfortunately, there are rude people out there and those of us in blogland have realize that.

I locked the door on my blog. It's something to consider. If you decide that way however, a lot of people will miss your advice on frugality and your "down to earth" yet professional way of expressing yourself.

Chin up, Meredith. I'm pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are mean spirited people out there! It ceases to amaze me really.

You are of course are a very beautiful person inside and out. As testament to the many people that visit.

But enough of the mean spirited people. Lets get on to the task at hand!!!

Everyone woman wants to feel pretty, especially at a special event. Since you asked for opinions I'll chime in with mine. :)

I think most people know what kind of style and colors look best on them.I bet right now you have envisioned in your mind what type of clothes you wish you could find!

There have been occassions in my past where I needed just the right outfit and couldn't find it. Its very very frustrating, I know! What I did in those times is buy a pattern in the style that I know looks good on me and made my own.

I suggest you buy that singer, buy a pattern, buy the perfect material and make your own! You are so resourceful and creative I know that you could make some stunning outfits that you would love and feel great in!

I loved the midnight blue pantsuit! I think you should find a similar pattern and make some outfits for your trip. Use the same pattern and make them all different.

Maybe a solid taupe colored one for the wedding. For other outfits pick out your favorite colors, make some sleevless, some short sleeves or 3/4 sleeves. Make black pants with a white top, etc.

You get the idea. :)

Please don't get discouraged and get to the point of just wearing anything. That will just make you have an unhappy trip.

We're all rooting for you to find or make ;) that perfect outfit! :)

Jen said...

Meredith,
The words written about Dolley Madison by her biographer would suit you as well. (You have..) an 'unassuming dignity, sweetness and grace . It seems to me that such manners would disarm envy itself, and conciliate even enemies'. (How dare anyone spill ugly on you! It calls forth my inner Mama Bear. YOU! Naughty blogger, in the corner...write Galations 6:7 out fifty times!!)

I already know that you will access the perfect outfit for the wedding. You know everything you need to know, and are amazingly resourceful.

Your blog is a bright spot in this world. You, our friend, are salt and light. Or as my D.D. said around age three, 'A salty light!"

Shine on sister...and may God send you a time of refreshment.

((Jen))

Jane said...

Meredith, although our children are all grown and on their own now, I love to read your blog and remember those years when our boys were small. I appreciate you sharing this time in your life with us! The occasional unkind comment brings such an ugly note to an otherwise gracious and beautiful blog. The only possibly reason I can think of for these snipes at you is jealousy. I wonder if there are those who don't see that they themselves are the reason that their lives are not as fulfilling and blessed as the one you share with us via the blog. It's easy for me to say that I pity these folk, as they haven't taken aim at me (I have no blog for them to) but I do feel sorry for them. You cannot be a loving and beloved wife, mother and daughter and say such hurtful things to a stranger.
I love your blog. Thank you for it.

Jane

Danette said...

I have just stumled onto your blog and look forward to reading some back post. I to think we should rise to the occasion and be more positive. But, from recent real life expierences, it is difficult to be positive. That is referring to my own blog.

I have looked back on my own blog and it seems like it has become a place for me to complain. That can be good and or bad. Good, in the fact that no on here in the house has to listen to me, bad, I realize how negative I am.

And truth be told, I am a very upbeat person. So in readin this blog, I will now be posting in a different light. Thansk for giving my a swift kick in my complacant blogging life.

Kim said...

I discovered your blog today via Living, Learning, and Loving Simply! I'll be visiting more often. I like what I see. Blessings to you.

Tracey said...

I have had a few negative comments that totally turn me off too....sorry...

If someone sends me an anonymous comment that is mean spirited....I won't publish it!

Keep Smiling!

Anonymous said...

Dear Meredith,

Please know that I would be absolutely devestated if you ever took your blog down.

Also, I only post under "anonymous" because I have no idea how to do it otherwise. I tried to sing up, but never figured it out so that it would say my name.

I always try to sign my name even though I post under the heading of "anonymous".

We LOVE you Meredith. Please, please stay here.

LOVE!!!!! Heather from Seattle

purebillow said...

Meredith, you said: Sharing the struggles (and there have been a lot this month, haven't there?) invites negativity to stay.

This is so true, but you are not at all the cause, source, enabler of the rude comments. The rudies pop up at even the most happy times and try to steal joy. They won't succeed!

Your faithful readers understand that you are not a negative blogger, but you are genuine. So you vent a time or two. We'll hear you out and hopefully help bear your burden. But thanks for the determination to not wallow. Keep spreading sunshine- we'll keep cheering you on!

Meredith said...

Go ahead and post under anonymous and add your name to the bottom of your comment--it doesn't bother me at all!

It's only when people say something ugly and then don't post their name that makes it bothersome.

I should have made that more clear. I just don't want to lose the wisdom of so many of our older readers because of Blogger's hard-to-understand directions for signing up.

Margo said...

I didn't read all the comments cause I'm barely making it to the internet these days (new baby! yay - but oh my word). BUT Meredith, I really love your style, your perspective, your photos, and your willingness to share it with us! You are really an inspiration to me as a stay at home mom. Thank you and please keep blogging!

Elizabeth G. said...

meredith,

Wow. I guess I haven't been reading the comments as much as I thought. I didn't know you were getting rude responses and I am very sorry to hear that you have.

I am just like everyone else who have posted here - I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I can't tell you how much you have helped and inspired me. Thank you so much!

I pray you can find a way to stop the negative people from ruining your blogging experience.

Anyway, again, I just love your posts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us each day. I am sorry for those that feel like it is their due to share "their garbage" and aim it at you. As one of your friends who don't understand URL from anything else, I commend you for sticking to your guns and keeping your blog upbeat and an encouragement to all who read it. Thank you for your bright spot in my day.

Mindy

Jan/lost-strayed-or-stolen.blogspot.com said...

Meredith, yours is the first blog I read everymorning (right after my daughter Jeana at Days to Come). You inspire me to look for beauty in everyday items. Too bad "anonymous" is unable to see the beauty in you.

Erika said...

Meredith,
I know there is already a really long list of comments but I thought I'd add my note! I came upon this blog not all that long ago in kind of an interesting way. Woke up in a terrible, negative mood one Saturday. Sick of everything, just going to stop trying with the house/meals etc., what difference does it make anyway... Finally forced myself out of bed and to my Bible, where I read Proverbs 31 because I knew it would be good for me. Went on with my day, somewhat improved. Later on, totally without inspiration for my meal planning (always done on the weekend) I googled "Sunday dinner." You guessed it--one of the top hits was the 1950s budget menu. As a lover of vintage cookbooks I couldn't resist clicking. That, and I thought "Like Merchant Ships...what a strange phrase to call something..." (I can be just a tad slow sometimes!) Anyway, I of course realized shortly where that came from, that it was the second time within just a few hours I had been led to that same Scripture, and that perhaps this was a little something more than a coincidence.

I have been a regular reader since then, and you have been very inspiring to me in both your approach to life and in the quality of your writing and presentation. I have noticed the bizarre, negative comments from time to time and can only imagine this comes from a sort of people who have nothing better to do with their time than surf the net looking for victims and get some sort of thrill out of writing things they would never say to a person in "real life." The sort of people who feel threatened by openness, honesty, and good. I suppose they are to be pitied, but I'm really sorry you have to be exposed to it. Thank you for all the good, positive, encouraging thoughts and ideas you put out there--even if the topic is the furthest thing from my mind (like maternity clothes! LOL) I am always so glad I stopped by and read what you have to say. :)

Patty said...

Hi Meredith, be strong ! you are these things and don't let anyone take them from you.
Remember Proverbs 31
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

3boysmama said...

I totally understand your sentiments. But I have to say when you don't mention that you have cheerios on the floor and a layer of dust and struggles with kids.... it makes me think you don't have those struggles.

Anyway, I enjoy your ideas and your posts. Thanks for adding the part about the cheerios on the floor!
=)

Anonymous said...

Keep blogging! Rise above the negativity-it's not about you but rather a very dissatisfied, bitter person who chooses to spread their toxicity. It is obvious to those of us out here reading. The "off" comments stand out from the rest. Glad that you are moving on. I love to read your blog and enjoy the pictures, too. Blessings! Julie

Anonymous said...

Girl, just like spilled milk on the dinner table - wipe it up and move on ... And you have! I appreciate your blog and don't know what would happen if I couldn't log on to you or ERRATIC HOMEMAKER - Shucks, that would be a domestic crime to most of ya'lls fans!
I appreciate your Godly wisdom, your warm spirit, and Emily Dickinson-like candor... You rock, girl!
Be encouraged and let the spilled milk get soaked up by the great big beautiful offerings you pour onto to us each day -
They'll have their day- and they should know that it's best not to mess with God's annointed either... :) We all know 'whose' you are!
We all love you, Meredith!
Keep on keepin' on!
CHEERS!

Working Mama in the NW (Latrice)

WendyJanelle said...

I've never posted on here before, but I do read...and I do smile.
:-) I appreciate your positive approach to life, your fresh ideas, and your love for the lovely. Thanks for keeping the unpleasantness at bay!

Anonymous said...

i think you are great and an inspiration to all.

Jessica said...

I love your blog! It is so positive, inspirational and educational. Thank you!