New Beginnings

repost from April 2011

bluebonnetegg

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.  ~Virgil A. Kraft

 

Spring always brings renewal. In nature as well as in me. This is the time of year that I am reminded that all things are possible. I am thankful that God gives us this season as a reminder that we are never stuck where we are, we can always start new. I don’t know about you- but I need a daily dose of “do over”-  my very existence as a wife and mother hinges on the fact that I know- tomorrow is another day. So as I mother and educate my children, tend to my husband, de-clutter and clean my home, I am thoughtful…What am I going to do with the day God gave me today?

Live it!

And remember when I don’t live it well…tomorrow is indeed a another day.

Giving Thanks Beyond the Mommy Meltdown

 

The morning started off well. I woke up, sat down with my cup of coffee and enjoyed a leisurely time with the Lord, underestimating  as I often do how much time it takes me to get all the children ready and out the door. I had waited until thirty minutes before we were due to leave, for an art day we had planned, to get the kids ready. And although my children were really excited, it wasn’t motivating enough to get them moving at my speed.  I began running around yelling like a maniacal drill Sgt. as if my lack of planning  was really my children’s fault.

The morning started to quickly lose it’s luster.

In the madness of it all I realized quickly that I  was out of baby food, had placed the last diaper on the baby and nobody could locate the paints and other supplies we were suppose to be taking with us.

We eventually did find the art supplies.

We were forced to take a detour to the “Mart” on the way to our outing. I couldn’t really go somewhere without one. single. diaper.  Seriously, where did all the diapers go?

Oh, how I dislike being late.

We pull up to the “Mart” I turn back into drill Sgt. mommy and explain our enter/exit strategy. I reach for my wallet only to find…yep. no wallet.

Pressing deep into my chair, I breath in and out. I want to cry. I want to melt right there and turn into a two year old. But I don’t. I settle on the fact that I have two choices. Go home for the wallet and miss the art day, or journey on into the unknown (the unknown being what will happen if I really needed a diaper, if you know what I mean) My children’s sad faces drove us into the unknown.

It was at that moment, driving out of the parking lot that I made the choice.

The choice to give thanks.

I began to silently give thanks in my heart, to surrender the moment and be thankful.

 

*Thankful that although I was out of food, I am a nursing mother- my body will provide all the nourishment my baby needs when the time comes.

*Thankful that although I didn’t have my wallet, I knew where it was.

*Thankful that although I was out of diapers It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford them.

*Thankful for forgiving children who know that my good days outweigh my bad ones.

 

It took just a moment, but it changed the day. It changed me.

 

What do you have to be thankful for today?

Homeschool Mother’s Journal July 20th

homeschool Mothers Journal

In my life this week…

I have been a little scatterbrained, flittering from one mini project to another without completing much. We have also been enjoying the quiet and non-rushed moments of summer.

In our homeschool this week…

I am in planning mode. I’m working on having the first 6 weeks of school organized so that there are no excuses.

I am inspired by…

The word of God. I have been reading through the book of Acts and soaking up every word. I have also been very encouraged by the testimonies of friends about how God has been working in their lives.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We have spent some time with my family, visited the zoo, the science museum, and had the chance to do some swimming. I enjoyed a great night out at Starbucks with some friends and looking forward to traveling to Iowa next week to visit the other half of our hearts.

Questions/thoughts I have…

How do I balance love with the truth? I’m struggling with this right now.

I’m reading…

The Bible, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are , and the many magazines that have been piling up all year.

I’m cooking…

Nothing! We are having leftovers all day. I have a whole fridge of food that needs to be eaten from the week. I just can’t throw food away.

I’m praying for…

My heart is very heavy for the marriages of several couples in my life.

 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Headbands

We love our Kindle Fire

Let me start off by saying I don’t usually get caught up in the hype of fancy gadgets, I’m not a jump on the bandwagon type of girl, and I tend to be cheap frugal. But we have had our eye on the Kindle Fire, , ever since it made it’s appearance. When the holidays rolled around we decided that we would use our Christmas money to purchase one.

We have not regretted it one. single. bit.

I love how versatile it is. It’s easy to carry around I can download books to it, browse the web, play games, listen to music, watch movies, there is so much packed into this mini electronic device. If you have been considering getting one I would highly recommend it. We ordered ours off of Amazon but my sister-in-law walked right into Wal-Mart and bought hers. And then my mother-in-law got one too! Seriously we love it.

I have read several of Francis Chan’s books on it recently and I’m reading Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
right now. It’s so good.

I’m sure I don’t even use half of what is available on it, I see lot’s of other homeschool moms out there using it in their schooling, but besides looking up videos and a few game aps, it hasn’t made a regular appearance in our school day.

I don’t have any experience with the Nook, but I understand it’s similar and a friend of mine who owns one loves it.

If you own a Kindle or other reader what books do you have downloaded on your “to read” list? Or do you have a favorite app?

You before me

door

We have a selfishness problem. It has slowly been creeping in and taking over our lives. It’s been left unaddressed for too long. I’m not talking about the overt kind of selfishness. The one where you don’t share your toys, or your snacks. The kind I’m talking about goes deeper. It begins in the heart.

It rears it’s ugly head when we least expect it. During family game time, while eating dinner, at church, while shopping, hanging out with friends, even during prayer. 

It’s often so obscure it can be brushed off as irrelevant. But I know it’s there.

I struggle with it too.

It’s the idea that my needs are more important than yours at any given time. That what I have to say is more important, more interesting and needing your complete attention- right now.  It’s believing that I’m better than you or that I can do something better than you can. It’s wondering what you can do for me. Feeling the need to be first. Worried that there won’t be enough. Excluding others for my benefit. It’s thanklessness.

It’s a heart issue.

We are on a mission to change. To be intentional with our words and actions. We are looking to God’s word for help.

Proverbs 4:11 says I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

James MacDonald in his bible study Lord Change My Attitude shares how having a selfless love is a giving love. He says “To often when people use the word love, what they’re really saying is, “I feel something.” Tragically, what people often mean when they say, I Love you, is not I’ve made a commitment to place your needs above my own, but instead, I love what you do for me. You make me feel good. You are working right now for the person I love most –Me. That isn’t love; that’s selfishness.”

We have taken this to heart. It’s written on our kitchen pantry door.

You before Me

It’s become a place to dialogue for us. A reference point. Right there next to our memory verses.

God’s word changes us. Love changes us. I’m ready.

Angela

Meeting with Jesus…In this season

Not too long ago my time with the Lord looked like this

quiet time

quiettime1

Throw a cup of coffee on the table and picture me sitting here with my bible in my lap, early in the morning before anyone else has awoken.

Doesn’t it make you want to curl up on the chair with that cozy blanket, sip a cup of coffee or tea and dig into the word?

These days it looks more like thisquiettime3

I use my Kindle because I can reference verses faster, I no longer have a quiet or comfortable place to sit, read and pray. And forget about rising before my children, they are now my alarm clock. At least the coffee has remained the same…{although my coffee pot has broken, so now I use a measuring cup to hold the coffee in… so instead of steaming hot coffee it’s only lukewarm…Sad smile} alas I digress.

It’s hard. I don’t like change. I miss my alone time with the Lord. I have had to adapt my expectations and realize that this is a season. I have had to meet the challenge with joy in my heart. James MacDonald says of our trials “in seasons like this, all we can do is fall into the embrace of our loving Savior and find him to be enough.”

I am thankful that this is true. I love the Jeremy Camp Song Give Me Jesus. Sometimes when all I have is a few moments, all I need is Jesus, just to dwell on who He is, to be comforted by His all consuming acceptance of this tired, can’t get it together mommy. To be reminded that yes, this is just a season and He with great compassion understands.

A friend shared this article that speaks to my heart on this very topic. It offers words of encouragement and great advice for us all. Hope you will be blessed through it as well.

Angela

Etiquette and Encouragement with Esther

This past weekend the girls and I enjoyed a wonderful mother daughter tea party. We had a lovely speaker, wonderful food and a great time of fellowship. Our Speaker started out sharing the story of Esther with our girls, explaining to them why etiquette was important and the steps Esther had to go through in order to be chosen as the queen. We then went outside to our tea party where she taught them simple etiquette skills like how to sit down at a table and get in and out of a car with a dress on, how to fold your napkin onto your lap, and eat a sandwich? Yes. She taught them the proper way for a lady to eat a large sandwich is to carefully tear it apart into small pieces as you are eating.

After we were served our meal she shared with us mommies some encouraging words about motherhood and biblical sisterhood. It was great refreshment for my soul.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the idea of morning and afternoon tea times. Sitting with a good friend and chatting about life, offering each other encouragement and sharing in our struggles.  Doesn’t it just seem like time was simpler back then, quieter and slower? I need some of that in my life.

I’m thinking of incorporating a little bit of tea time with our children during the week. I have a good friend who has a “tea party” with her children during story time. How fun! What a lovely time to sit and chat about all things important. We could do this during our devotions, or story time, or just for fun. I won a cute little tea set at the tea party that will be perfect for this!

table2

Tea is a cup of life. ~Author Unknown

table1

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

table

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose. ~George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

estherlesson

Manners maketh man- William of Wykeham

teatraining

Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential. –Will Cuppy

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Remember the tea kettle – it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings! ~Author Unknown

allison

Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things. ~Author Unknown

meandgirls

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future. ~Author Unknown