August 28, 2009
and SIMPLE. my HOME is going on another diet. life is better every time i knot a garbage bag and write "pants size 6/8 $3"
yes. i think another garage sale may be in our future.
actually, my whole life is going on a diet.
well, it's not a diet, it's a LIFESTYLE. right?
Drew said to me last night. "Mom, I really don't want to play this game anymore."
Nope. This isn't a game... it's a plan. a GREAT plan of happiness.
i have many good friends who are Baptist, and i love them.
i remember a conversation i had with a sweet, sweet wife of a baptist minister in Michigan about being born again.
one thing i just don't agree with is that you are "saved" or "born again" just once...
for me, i am saved again and again... as i grow and learn and progress...
i can feel my Savior strengthening me and cleansing me and teaching me and saving me.
the first time i remember knowing without a doubt that God was real and that He loved me was when i was 8...
I was laying on my bed with my bunny, and i was singing "I am a Child of God"...
i felt a warm wash over me...
tingles from my head to my toes...
i felt a sweet hug from above and the thoughts... "I am here, you are not alone. I am your Father, I love you and I will always guide you."
That was real. and, it changed me.
but, there have been many times since then that i have been born again...
and, last week, i was born again... again.
i am a new person.
i feel healed and cleansed and saved.
i took some time to reconnect, to hear God tell me that I'm not alone, that He loves me and that He will guide my steps... and, it has changed me.
Like Martha, I had become "careful and troubled about many things" and i was reminded that only "one thing is needful." (Luke 10:38-41)
i love the scripture in Psalms 37:23 "The steps of a good [woman] are ordered by the Lord: and [she] delighteth in his way."
and, "The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children." Psalms 115:14
and, this sweet prayer, "Order my steps in thy word: and let not iniquity have dominion over me... Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes." Psalms 119:133, 135
i came home focused on holy ORDER...
I love that word- order.
It's easier to achieve ORDER than perfection...
i just need to know one step ahead, and i can have faith that even when what i am doing is not enough, HE will compensate.
He will turn my water into wine.
I know that we are saved by GRACE after all that we can do.
actually, i think we are saved by GRACE while we are doing...
So, I'm doing stuff... just one day at a time, one thing at a time, one step at a time... and, it's working.
My home is orderly.
My life is orderly... and it's only been ONE WEEK.
i can't believe it.
specifically, here are some things i'm focusing on...
- Early to bed, early to rise ( i know!! can you believe it? i USED to be SUCH a night owl)
-First things first-- each morning i start by taking time for myself to pray, read, ponder and write an ORDER for my day (on a blank index card.) it is NOT a service to our children if we loose ourselves in their care. we serve them better when we are whole. (Note- someday I'll include exercise here... but, i haven't really figured this one out yet.)
-NEVER forget the ARMOUR... seriously. we are living in a world that is HARD. we need to protect ourselves and our children, to teach them right from wrong and to teach them where to look for knowledge... family prayer, family scripture study, service, forgiveness, work, exercise, etc... these things really do strengthen us and protect our family.
- Put away the laundry while it's warm (totally changed my life- i do wash every morning, just a couple loads and it is my PRIORITY-- i stop whatever I'm doing, fold it and put it away. do you know it only takes 4.5 minutes to put away a load of laundry... i spent longer than that feeling sick everytime i saw a clean load sitting in a laundry basket... just DO IT!)
- HEALTHY fuel for my body and for my family... grains, fruits, vegetables... you know, healthy stuff not chemicals and unhealthy stuff. when i think about NOURISHING my kids not just FEEDING my kids, i actually love mealtime. Do you know it costs over $100 a month for many anti-depressant medications? I would much rather spend my money on healthy, nourishing food and vitamins for my family.
-Morning maintenance... (my house had gotten so bad that i had to start a room at a time... so, monday i did the entryway, living room and kitchen. tuesday, i did morning maintenance of the entryway, living room and kitchen then good clean of my bedroom. wednesday, maintenance of entry, living, kitchen, master bed and good clean of girls bedroom... get it? seriously ONE WEEK and it's getting there.)
-FINISHi've been trying for awhile to figure this out and finally it "CLICKED"
-Make one big project 3 smaller projects... i do this by storing big messes to work on later. (for example, because our house is small and we don't have a play room, cleaning the kids' room is awful. i usually spend all day making hundreds of piles... shirts, pants, socks, dress-ups, dirty clothes, kid books, baby books, paperback books, hairbands, barbie shoes, doll clothes, etc.... i don't really finish before the kids get home then they mess my piles and i feel completely frustrated. this time i just threw all the toys in a big pile... to sort later. my objective at first was just to ORDER the room... even if a pile of toys didn't seem clean, it became the place i put toys so it was orderly... i felt finished in a short time and the next day i could go back and do "toys" as a job.) same with closets... you take everything out of the closet. you have one bag labeled "Goodwill" one labeled "Trash" a basket of "stuff that goes somewhere else" and a basket of "stuff i want to put back into the closet." so. In ten minutes i could be "DONE" with a closet. I stick the basket of stuff to go into the closet, into the closet and shut the door. Tie a knot on the Goodwill bag and stick it in the trunk of my car, put the trash in the trash pile for the boys to take out when they get home and put the basket of stuff to put away... away. IF i have time, i might decide to actually organize the closet I just sorted. IF the kids are almost home, i can still have an orderly home and do that smaller project another day. Get it? seriously... changed my LIFE.
-FORGIVE!! i LOVE this one. One way we can forgive is through our words... speaking is using our agency and our faith... kind, forgiving words can change our heart and help us to get rid of negative emotions that consume us... anger, hurt, fear, frustration, guilt. SAY IT. Say, out loud... "I forgive myself for spending too much money at that store." or "I forgive Ellie for being sassy this morning." Get it? Even if you have to say it over and over for the same negative feelings... and remember, you don't forgive for the other person, we forgive to change OUR heart. It's a great way to get rid of negativity. seriously. i've tried to forgive before but, i didn't know how. i really think there is healing in WORDS. now, i make my kids say it. along with I'm sorry they say, "I forgive you Mom for getting rid of my play shoes." and, it changes their heart. LOVE THIS!!
-Write it down so you can think instead of remember... seriously. do you know how many things i can think of at the same time? A LOT! but, i don't need to. i cleaned off my little desk. i put a calendar there and started some permanent lists... to buy, to do, to make... as i cleaned out the kids' closet i took a minute to write down a list of what each kid needs... as i got rid of my favorite pink shirt with a stain on it, or my favorite black dresses that are just a bit too short, i wrote down a list of "things i want..." when i write these things down in an orderly place, my brain is free to think about other things. and... i don't just have random lists floating around... it's orderly and simple and i love it.
-Be STILL so you can hear. although this is last, it was actually first. we checked the INPUT around our home and decided it was too much. We needed more time to think and BE. So, we turned off the TV, banned movies, gameboys, computer games, etc. It's just a 30 day fast. a cleansing. i'm afraid that my children have forgotten how to play outside or ride their bikes or be creative... too much input... too little living... i don't miss it. even when i'm trying to clean and leah cries to watch a movie... do you know it is just as easy to sit her at the table with a place-mat and a container of play-doh, or a coloring book and a bowl of crayons, or on the couch with a stack of books, or turn on a Wee Sing tape and let her dance. seriously. she can entertain herself with those things just as long as she did watching a movie. Is Dora bad? nope. but for us, this month, it's just not best. my life is calmer, i can feel more and breathe easier without all the noise. love it. so, these are the things I'm working on today. life is good. now, i'm going to take a nap. then, i'm going to make bread and pizza dough for our Family Game Night tonight (it's replacing Family Movie Night.) Have a GREAT weekend!(sorry for the book... you knew i was just waiting to spew forth everything going on in my brain!)
August 24, 2009
August 18, 2009
August 16, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 14, 2009
August 13, 2009
August 12, 2009
August 11, 2009
Summer is ending.
I can feel it in my bones. The slow, lazy days of summer are fading and my clock is getting faster. My calendar is filling. My kitchen table is covered with school supplies. I LOVE school supplies. I've begun to label my activities "this is the last time we will..." or "we really need to do this before..."
My closets are cluttered... i have piles that drive me batty... leah is ready for some one on one time... my kids are ready for structure. But, i've loved this summer. I'm ending the summer in awe of my brood. They're good kids. I like them. I like having them with me. I'm going to miss them.
No. I'm not a home school mama. I like sending them away. And, I like getting them back. I'm definitely a mama that loves the seasons. I love summer. and. I love fall. Fall is in the air and I'm ready to wear cardigans again. I'm ready for Tuesday folders and soccer practice and spelling words and the structure that school day brings...
But, when I hear them laughing in my trunk on the way home from the pool. When I hear their seat negotiations.... I call by the window... I call front middle... and leah, "I CALL CARSEAT." I know, I'm really gonna miss this.
August 08, 2009
August 07, 2009
to stay my sweet, chunky, perfect baby. forever. my heart aches to keep her...
and yet... i love her cute little teefers...
(two teeth is my FAVORITE!)
i still remember when my little brother, Matthew, had only two teeth...
he left the cutest teeth marks in all of his soft blocks.
it's hard not to laugh when lily bites my finger as hard as she can and grimaces.
even though i know it won't be funny much longer.
she's learning attitude.
it's different. but, it's so funny.
she tries to tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants...
and we laugh at her efforts.
but, sometimes she wins-- especially with her siblings who spend the day trying to keep her laughing.
her cry isn't sad, it's sassy and crumple-nosed cute...
lily and leah are funny together...
leah is sweet and maternal,
but she is the only one that will whack lily on top of her head when she steals a toy.
everyone needs one sister who'll do that.
leah and lily,
they really play.
the peek a boo game,
the throw a toy game,
the yell and laugh game,
the bounce up and down and laugh game...
it's a sweet, sister dance that they do.
i know they'll be friends.
the big girls and the big boys play sweet with her too...
it's more the mama and papa in training game...
"say BaBA" they say as she yells at them to giver her bottle back to her...
"say UP... uuuuu PPPP" they say as she jumps forward into their outreached arms...
teasing, teaching, laughing, and play by play commentary...
"that was funny, did you see what lily did? i said say puuuuullleeeez and she said ppppp and threw her fork...
did you see that?"
"MOM!!! She's crawling, she's really crawling!!"
"I know, I saw it first yesterday."
"Uh uh, i just taught her that."
"Well, I taught her how to say UP. Didn't I mom? Lily, say UUUU PPP."
"Come here Lily, crawl to Ellie."
"Lily.... Lily.... want this book?"
Oh the joy a baby brings.
So, I want to keep her small...
but i love to see her grow.
We grow with her.
Is it possible to add to fullness?
My wedding night... my joy was full. I thought.
Having my first perfect baby... my heart was full... it was bursting.
then drew- daring, feeling, independant, experiencing life drew.
and anna- thoughtful, sensitive, orderly, maternal anna.
and ELLIE- adorable and exhausting and full of life, full of joy-Ellie.
and leah- my friend and companion, a smart, gentle soul, an old, younger sister. then baby lily...
Who can describe the fullness that Lily brings?
The stretching that comes with adding makes your fullness bigger.
and so, today i am full.
i want to say-- stop.
keep it here.
life is good.
but i know that tomorrow brings a fullness all it's own.
a new step, a new growth, a new joy.
so, my sweet lily... it's ok.
you can grow.
and all of us, we'll be watching, and cheering, and growing right along with you.
but today. i'm going to cherish every minute of the baby i still have left.
(and the 2 year old and the six year old, and the seven year old, and the nine year old, and the ten year old...) today.
i'll cherish my moments.