Category Archives: September 2016

Good Day/Bad Day?

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Good Day/Bad Day?

As I dropped off my newly-enrolled son to his MDO (Mother’s Day Out) program this morning, I was absolutely giddy. Giddy because I had before me 5.5 hours of ME time. In nearly 4 years, this is the first time I’ve enrolled him in any kind of program like this. Sure, he attends MOPS with me, which is also fabulous, but I am new to having ME time to do whatever I want. In my head I’m thinking of all that I need to be doing: cleaning, cooking, organizing, picking up, laundry, errands…yada, yada, yada. In my heart, however, I am overdue for a little peace and quiet at home. My soul needs the refreshment and my mind needs a break. I’m not requiring a nap, which I enjoy, but just time to read my Bible, thumb through a new book, peruse a magazine and check up on social media. No TV, phone or the like. Just me, my puppy and a comfy chair. Oh, and a nice tall glass of cold lemon water.

I’m excited to delve into a new-to-me book, Keep a Quiet Heart, by Elisabeth Elliot. I love her godly wisdom, insight and encouragement. In fact, I keep a shelf full of these type of books to spur me on this journey I’m on. The journey of Motherhood. My mind settled on this thought of having a quiet heart after engaging briefly with a girlfriend this morning. Here, I thought I’d had a bad week, which to me is still classified as such; however, when I heard about her week, I had to take a step back. She’s been through it and her family is going through it. However, what is different about this gal is she has a quiet spirit. She confessed that she doesn’t allow the enemy to have a foothold as he throws these fiery darts of sickness and back pain to her already overwhelming  plate. She with her husband and 2 young boys just moved to town from out of state as he is beginning training for full-time ministry that will take the family to only God knows where.

As this new friend asked about my week, suddenly I didn’t feel quite as overwhelmed after hearing about her week. I was challenged by her quiet spirit, her faithful heart, and prayerful attitude. It wasn’t a “fake it til you make it” attitude, rather a peaceful heart and mind that is grounded in God’s truth of who she is in Christ, the power that is hers through the Holy Spirit as a believer, and the fact that the enemy has limited power. It’s no wonder I pulled this book off my bookshelf this morning, Keep A Quiet Heart.

Now today’s encounter with my friend was only confirmation of what what we studied in church last night. We’ve been studying I Corinthians and last night focused on chapter 7. Reading this in context of course, verse 32 really spoke to me as I tend to be full of anxiety. I would say I have an anxious spirit rather than a quiet or peaceful spirit. There was much discussion in our small group last night as to what Paul was teaching. We’re not to be burdened with anything; we’re to be free from concern.We shouldn’t allow our lives to be dictated by our circumstances. We looked at fear as being anything that has power or control over our lives. What then? We’re to remember that things of this world will pass away >, where as things of God go on forever <. What does God require from us? Obedience. We are to approach God’s call with obedience and willingness.

Once I stopped long enough to look, break down the scripture, and hear God’s teaching, I realized that having a good day or a bad day is really irrelevant. What matters is, are you being obedient? Are you filling your mind with truth? Are you praying for God’s peace? Are you seeking to know Him and are you hearing His voice above all others? Sure, as my wise friend said “Sometimes I think, ‘I didn’t sign up for this‘” referring to the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, the bad news, the naughty children, fiery darts from our enemy. The takeaway: be obedient to His Word. We are not to be anxious and not to fear. The kicker: in order to be obedient to His Word, we must first read and be well acquainted with His Word.

I’ll pray for you and you pray for me. Let’s encourage one another to have quiet hearts, minds and spirits. God is in control and we are not. Let Him navigate our lives for us and in return choose obedience.

 

 

 

 

thinking outside the box

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thinking outside the box

While taking just a few minutes to peruse Facebook this morning, I’m saddened to read posts about kids being destructive to others’ property out of sheer boredom this summer.

So, I only have one young one, so I haven’t entered the “Mom, I’m borrrreeeeeddddddd!” syndrome yet uttered from kids’ mouths who are already bored out of their goards this summer. I don’t quite understand how they can be so bored already.

Back in my day” (don’t you get tired of hearing that? LOL!) in the summer time, my sister and I always had plenty to do, my Mom saw to that. We had chores around the house, books to be read, VBS (Vacation Bible School), work in the yard with Dad, pool time & swim lessons, errands with Mom, choir tour & church camp, and trips to visit family. Honestly, there wasn’t time to be bored. If we even gave a hint of naughtiness, we’d have to deal with Dad when he got home and we did NOT want that so we found things to keep us occupied. Of course, we had our friends to spend the night, ride bikes, play outside and just plain ‘ole creativity because video games weren’t quite the rage they are today and smart phones weren’t invented yet.

My point is that we had plenty of constructive activity to keep our brains engaged and  our boredom to a minimum. There wasn’t much time to lounge around and be lazy. We were up at a decent time every morning (My Dad saw to that!) to accomplish our work and errands in the cool of the day, fun was reserved for later in the day. My Mom had us learn at an early age how to clean the house (I’m talking vacuuming, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms and the like). I’m sure our Mom heard her share of complaints but we learned life lessons of how to work hard, the value of work, as well as earning and saving money since my parents opened savings accounts for us so we could watch our money grow and earn interest.

I hate to admit it, but I believe the downfall in negative behavior due to boredom with school age children lies largely with the parents. Children of this age are old enough to take on responsibility such as a job to earn money for the things they want. Okay, soap box moment: I heard once of a child who wanted his Mom to go back to work so (the kids) could have more money to do and have fun things. WHAT?! I’m sorry, but that is WHACK! Soap box rant over. There are plenty of jobs for kids such as a paper route, babysitting, life-guarding, pet sitting, and lawn mowing are just a few ideas. Learning age old skills such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, and the like are true talents that will serve our kids well. With Pinterest there are plenty of crafty ideas to inspire young minds to be creative, sell their wares and earn money for trips, toiletries, camps, gas, etc.

I believe these simple acts of keeping active minds busy will go a long way toward eradicating the sense of entitlement so many children and teenagers subscribe to. I think the Bible has some things to say along these lines as well:

Proverbs 31:27
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Ecclesiastes 10:18
Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
2 Thessalonians 3:11
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
1 Timothy 5:13 
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.

Colossians 3:23                                                                                                                                  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,…

Call me crazy, but aren’t we raising our children to be adults? On more than one occasion, I have conversed with an adult whose mission is to be the fun, hip parent; they desire to be a friend to their child rather than do the hard work of a parent. They want to be liked, and to them, the approval they seek from their kids trumps the calling on our lives to be parents.
My question to these fine people is: how are you going to equip your child(ren) for the real world when your goal is to be the “cool parent,” the one who dresses immodestly, the one who never disciplines much less sets curfews, or helps them learn life lessons that will prepare them for college and living on their own one day. And most importantly, life preparation without you as their parent, for this is probably the biggest life lesson to be learned. Grooming our children to stand on their own two feet, earning and saving money, value of hard work, cleanliness and learning how to clean house properly are all becoming such a lost art. Break the cycle and do the hard work that goes into parenting and preparing your child to fly the nest, hopefully well before they’re 20.

 

with a turn of a page

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Oh how I dearly love the fall season! I adore the varied colors of foliage, the aroma of burning leaves, change of the sun’s position in the sky, delicious apple season, yummy chilis and soups, the majestic mountains, outdoor activities, and most of all….cooler temperatures!!!! Something happens within me as well; I feel invigorated by the crisp, cool, clear days. I have a spring in my step like no other season of the year gives me. Cherishing it day by day because fall will soon fade into winter, which is my least favorite season, even a little depressing.

With the start of fall brings a whole new freedom and excitement for me this year! I am almost giddy at the thought of my nearly 4 year old starting Mother’s Day Out (MDO) next week! I truly never thought I’d be ready for this moment; however, it’s only 2 days a week yet it represents hours of newfound freedom that will soon be mine. Those of you who’ve been following my blog are well aware of the boundless energy my son possesses. As a matter of fact, just last night, a friend at church witnessed my son’s burst of energy at nearly 8pm and asked me if he ever slows down…..to this question asked of me, I quickly exclaimed, “NO!” Well, maybe at bedtime after a slowwwwww winding down as he takes in a favorite TV show.

So, as excited as I am, I’m afraid I have inflated expectations of alllllll that I hope to accomplish during the hours he’ll be away two days a week. I’m ready to purge and clean my house top to bottom. I want to see the sparkle of clean floors, ready to stock my freezer with soups for fall, ready to meet a friend here or there occasionally for an impromptu lunch. While I feel so blessed to be a SAHM, quite honestly, I feel like my house has been on a nearly 4 yr hiatus of attention. Truly! You know how it is, you see that the bathrooms need cleaning so you give them some elbow grease and next thing you know, minutes later, it’s as if you never put a cleaning cloth to them. Discouragement at it’s finest. You sweep the carpet and within a matter of time, crumbs pattern the floor as if you never whirled that Hoover. This, of course, translates to the bedroom (mine and his!), the kitchen, den and bonus room. Toys are everywhere…mostly under my feet! Oh how I will purge them when his little eyes can’t witness them disappear. It’s times like these that I find myself wondering if my family of 3 could embrace a tiny house. Less stuff, more time, less stress.

Now, if you should darken my doorstep, please don’t be quick to judge me if all these glorious expectations of mine aren’t met. I have big outdoor plans as well, like the beds that need weeding badly, shrubs need coiffed, back yard needs purged of an abundance of toys.

For now, my son’s voice beckons me. After all, it’s more about the memories being made than the chores being left undone, right? The days go by quickly, and I intend to make the most of them with my newfound freedom!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!