Archive for February, 2010

I thought you might enjoy a few of the blog posts I have enjoyed recently:

Keeper of the Home has a terrific post, Organization in the Real Food Kitchen:  Knowing and Using What’s In Your Freezer, that almost inspires me to organize my freezers!

We made these terrific breakfast bars, which can take the place of granola or cold cereal (not that granola is very hard to make!).  While the author of Large Family Mothering has 15 kids, I made her whole recipe which will feed our family for about 3-4 breakfasts.  I just cut up the bars and then froze them.  It is easy to take out what we need.

Well, I am stunned, but this Homemade All-Natural Deoderant from Passionate Homemaking actually works for me.  I have never tried a natural deoderant that works before, but I have been using this for several weeks with great success.  It is definitely worth a try.  I can’t speak to how it works in the summer, but until now all natural deoderants I’ve tried in the past have failed me even in the winter.

If you are into Digital Scrapbooking, you might enjoy this How-To Guide:  Printing Photobooks and Albums for Digital Scrapbookers from The Daily Digi.  If you aren’t into it, you should go and get inspired, anyway!

While I love every single post that Ann writes at A Holy Experience, I thought I’d share this one with you.  It is a post entitled, Words Worth a Tree:  Readings for Lent a booklist for Easter.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Image courtesy of cliff1066

You have probably heard that on Valentine’s Day this year, a talented and determined athlete won Canada’s first gold medal on home soil. What you may not know is that that man is my husband and the father of my children.  How could this be considering this athlete is only 22 years old and my oldest child is nearly 16?  I don’t know.  Further, how could this be considering my husband of almost 19 years was sitting right beside me watching the wonderful moment the gold medal was won?  I don’t know.  You’ll have to ask my 2 year old son.

You’d have to see the happy enthusiasm he exudes, as we watch the Olympics, each time a new athlete appears on the screen. “Daddy!” he cheers, “DADDY!!”  It could be a speed skater, even an Asian one.  It could be a skiier, including, of course the one who won the gold medal.  It could even be a female snowboarder.  Baby guy happily squeals “Daddy!” each time.

It doesn’t even seem to phase him if he is actually sitting on Daddy’s lap at the time.  Nothing is to difficult for our amazing Daddy.  We are very proud.

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Do the Next Thing

Image courtesy of MrPessimist

Awhile ago, I had another one of those nights. Every once in awhile, I can’t sleep because I feel so discouraged.  My mind is flooded with thoughts of my inadequacy, my failures and my disappointments.  “How can we have accomplished so little today?”  “Why can’t I even get the basics done some days?”  “Why, when I am called to homeschool, do I struggle so much?”  As I lie there awake, one word flashes over and over, beating inside my mind almost as if it were my own heartbeat.  Failure.  I feel like a failure.  And, worst of all, I feel like I cannot escape it.  I am called to do something that I simply cannot do.

I recognize I am never expected to work alone nor am I expected to equip myself, but what does a mother do when neither the help nor the equipping seem to come?  She asks again.

At times, I have prayed and prayed and the answer has been that it is my expectations, not my inability to meet them, that is the problem. As a boss provides tools and training for employees only to do their own job, I have been given what I need, but only for what He asks of me.  I spend a lot of time stressing about jobs that are not mine to do.  In this case, the answer is simple (though not always easy), mind my own business and focus on my own job.  I am to align my expectations to the One who has called me.

This night was decidedly different. I was not struggling with expectations of having a home that was as neat as a pin, perfectly obedient children or a homeschool rich with daily study of painting, nature and music.  I was struggling because on way too many occasions, I lay in bed knowing the even though I had worked hard all day, I had not spent deliberate time with my Lord or I had not finished math with my children or I had not worked on my youngest’s reading or we had not read the Bible as a family.  There were way too many days I had not finished the very basic things that would leave me feeling as if I had successfully finished His tasks for me.

I arose from my bed and went downstairs to pray and consider. Mercifully, the answer came simply (and quickly this time).  “Do the next thing.” God truly makes me laugh sometimes!  I love it when He just gets down and dirty and speaks to me in a nice, simple cliché.

I quickly realized it was to be a kind of motto for each day. With this on my mind, I considered what was “the next thing” to be in my home?  I made a list:

  1. Spend time with my Lord
  2. Read the Bible to the kids
  3. Do math and reading

“Do the next thing” for me has become not a survival technique, such as “I’ll just get through this one next thing,” but rather a powerful way to lend a sharp focus to my efforts at home. Each time I go to do something, I ask myself, “Is this the next thing?”  If the answer is “No”, I make sure I have a good reason to continue.  For example, taking a toilet-training toddler to the potty when he asks trumps just about everything except maybe blood.  Checking my e-mail is very rarely an acceptable insert between the above three.  Same thing with tossing in laundry, reading blogs, calling friends or knitting.

Amazingly, when I keep these priorities in front of me, not only do I continually end the day feeling truly successful, but I find I have the time for all kinds of things I struggled to find time for in the past. When I do have a particularly difficult or busy day, I rest easy knowing that I have usually at least finished the important things.

God has been so faithful and gracious to me. Rarely does He answer in such a clear and such an immediately helpful way.  His way is usually slow and steady.  I am desperately grateful for the way He answered this time to ease my burden and make things so simple for me.

(By the way…I’ve had this blog post written up for several days, but it taken this long for typing it up to publish to be ‘the next thing’!)

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