Monday, March 28, 2011

Francine Rivers Giveaway!

Head over to Francine Rivers' fan page to enter a great contest to win all of her books!
Francine Rivers Giveaway

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ground Control

   Well this week was a write-off as far as early mornings go,  but not in the way of spending time with people I love!  My Mom was here for a few days over last weekend and into the week.  I had such a good time chatting away with her, we always stay up much to late; hence the lack in early morning rising.   
   Once she left, the Hubby returned.  (not on purpose it just happened that way;)  
   The week flew by, another weekend gone.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back on my mission.  Right now it's lost in outer space!
   I can't wait to dig into the info I printed out, plus pray and seek the Lord on what my Mommy Mission Statement should be. 
   I am so loving watching the snow melt! Even if what's underneath is brown, soggy and stinky!  Ya, and there's THAT too! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mom on a Mission

    Have you ever heard about or thought about a mission statement as a Mom?  It never occurred to me to have a statement.  My mission mainly has been to SURVIVE!  Not just my own survival but hopefully theirs too! 
   Of course I had some idea of what I would like to teach my kids and how I'd like to do that.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.  Although I have a slight idea of what we should do, most days we fly by the seat of our pants!  I've always kind of been like that, spontaneous decisions, or combustion, depends on the day.
   I've been picking up some thoughts and mulling them over.  First of all this getting up earlier thing, which didn't work out for me so well this morning, due to a late night of giggly little girls:)  
   Now this Mom mission statement idea.
  You can read all about it here from Inspired to Action.
I printed off some of the pages.  I'll be praying about it and reading through them in the mornings.  Which by the way are going well (when we go to bed), like yesterday when I got up 20 mins earlier and had nice quiet time reading Acts 4.  I decided to read through the book of Acts.  No particular reason.  What's really cool is my 14yr is following me, setting his alarm early and getting up to read his bible.  Super sweet!
   Today we are getting the house ready for Grandma! She's coming to visit yay!  I love my Mom:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Did It!!!

Thought I'd let ya' all know that I got up 10mins earlier today!!!
Granted the toddler got up too so I didn't get as much as I wanted done, but I did get to read Acts chapter 2 or most of it anyway.  Soon we will listen to music.  Some, well one child has already started his school!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Love Sleep.

  I have discovered a new challenge.  Well, actually it isn't new to me that this will be a challenge, what's new is that I now feel inspired to change and do something about it.  In there lies the challenge.
  I love sleep.  I could sleep 12hrs if  "they'd" let me.  Honestly I don't get out of bed, unless I really have to.  It may be that I lack the will power to abandon my warm cozy bed or it may just be inertia.   Lets go with that one! 
   If it was all inertia though then I probably wouldn't go to bed in the first place.  I look forward to bedtime, all the kids are asleep, I can finally hit my feather pillow and cuddle in my duvet.   Ahhhhhh, is it bedtime yet??
   Ok, so what's the challenge?   To get up earlier. 
     I can hear those words echoing off the walls, can you?  Frightening!  It's a thought that makes me groan on the inside.  Who am I kidding! I'm groaning out loud!
   Where did this come from?  Well it's been kicking around in my brain for years.  It comes up from time to time.  Good thing God loves me and is ever so patient with me. 
   I found this website the other day.  Inspired to Action's Maximize your Mornings.  Due to the constant lack of time for planning school, planning the day, squeezing in little bits of bible reading, I am aptly aware of the need for more time. 
   I will not start getting up at 5:30am!  When I read that on her site I ran screaming from the room. 
    Instead my plan of attack will begin with 15min increments, er, or, well, maybe 5mins.  Babysteps, babysteps.
   My hope is that I can spend this extra time, worshipping God, reading my bible, praying, planning the day and the week.  I also hope this will help me change my evil nemesis "Housework" into a much friendlier giant.
    PS I can't start tomorrow (oh darn) I am fighting a cold (cough, cough).  As soon as I feel better I'll be up 15mins  5 mins earlier.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

House Work My Nemesis

  Do you have any struggles that have lasted your whole life?
Is there something that has always been there and never changed?  Maybe you have changed, and you are in a different place in your life, but that one part remains.  I do.
   For as long as I can remember I have never been organized, never kept my room neat, ever. 
    When I lived on my own there was no cleaning, until company was coming or I had no more dishes to use and had to wash some.  Now imagine how that translated into marriage.  Then add children into the mix.  How was I never able to get a grip on this skill?  How has it evaded me all these years?  Why is house work my nemesis? 
   Oh I've heard it all from, just do it, to writing out lists and schedules.  Flylady worked for me for about a month I think.  I've tried to get back on the fly wagon, it usually lasts about a day. 
   In other areas of my life I've changed, moved on, but this one gets me.  I'm stuck.  It's not that I can't clean, I have, but that's it when I HAVE to. 
    I know this probably doesn't make sense to my "born organized" friends.  Some of my friends are nice and make sweet excuses for me, "You have 5 children!".  "You are very busy!"  Yes, yes, you are all sweet and I love your nonjudgmental love.  But I know the truth, I know that I could do better.  I know that I could BE BETTER.  So what's with NOT being better, what is that?   Am I too nice to myself, allowing myself the excuse to "not feel like it right now"?  Is it something deeper that needs to be worked out?
   Often over the years I have prayed for help.  Begging God to make me good at this.  Asking for the desire to get it done.  Now I have begun to pray again.  Asking God to reveal to me what it is that holds me back.  Giving me His motivation to WANT TO do the cleaning, His knowledge to know HOW and WHERE to start. 
    2 weeks ago an amazing thing happened.  For 3 days I had no dishwasher.  I had to wash all the dishes by hand.  Since my children are spoiled privileged enough to only know how to load and unload a dishwasher, and I was too lazy merciful to teach them.   One son actually took the initiative to dry the dishes and put them away.  A boy after his father's heart!  
 Anyways back to my story of the amazing thing that happened to me.  There is something truly magical in hot, soapy water.  It makes you want to wash everything.  So I did, all the appliances small and big.  All the cupboards (on the outside it's not THAT miraculous!).  All the counters, and walls (above the counter again not THAT miraculous).
   By the time I was done the dishes my kitchen was sparkly, and I didn't even give it a second thought.  I was in awe, and a little fearful that I had left and someone else had moved in (just kidding).
    I kept it nice and sparkly clean for 3 DAYS!!! Then I got a cold and hubby fixed the dishwasher and here I sit in the mess again.
   I don't have a cold anymore.  Maybe I should make some soapy, hot water and stick my hands in it.  Maybe something might happen, and if not then I guess I'll just give myself a manicure.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's An Emotion That Has No Name

   Prayer, seeking, reading (scripture), listening, quiet, be still.  All these things are good and necessary for the searching of heart and soul.  When emotions surface from the deep depths of ourselves we have choices. 
1. we can ignore them 
 2. we can take them to the One who created us with a purpose and ask Him about them. 
     I must confess that my go to choice is 1. ignore, deny, shove it down.  I am learning more and more (slowly and like a stubborn child) to choose the second. 
   To come before my Beloved, the One who allowed those things to surface in the first place, because He wants to continue the work He started when I was first born into His Spirit.  Alive in Him, no longer dead in sin.  Because He loves me and wants to make me whole.
   To some the answers come easy, asking the Lord to reveal to them the cause, or getting right to the root.  For me it hasn't always been that way.  I can feel like I'm groping around in the darkness, waiting for my finger tips to grab hold of some truth or some reason.  If I don't make myself fold my hands and just pray, stop grabbing little things turning them over and over in the dark trying to make sense of what they are, I could easily give up, despair.  It's much better for me to sit quietly in the dark and wait for Him to turn the light on. 
    Sometimes He has already, and for some reason I still sit with my eyes closed.  What am I afraid to see?  Am I afraid?  Am I sad?  It's an emotion that has no name, it feels like grief, like the death of something.  Is the death of something in me?  Or the realization that something has died either long ago or more recent? 
    While praying and reading I've been focusing on Life.  Simply because the feeling that came to me was about death.  When I think of things dying I am instantly transported to my Dad's death.  His dying was the deepest hurt I ever felt in my life.  It was a brokenness I can't describe, a shattering of my heart.
At the same time I also experienced God in away I never had before and I know Him better because of it.  He carried me through that time,  whispering His love in my heart, giving me strength when I had none.
     In years later I learned that it was a multi-faceted hurt that stretched it's sticky fingers into many areas of my life.  I make decision and sometimes beliefs (some lies, some not) based on that hurt. 
   It makes sense to me that what I experienced a few days ago is some part of that multi-faceted pain. 
       I am reluctant to claim that my Dad's death must be the reason for this just in case I am wrong, I don't want to miss the truth.  
   So I wait sometimes in the dark, sometimes with the Light on and my eyes closed, waiting for the Revealer, Healer, Comforter, Master, Teacher, to do His work.
  When I hear Him say "Open your eyes." I will. 
The verses that stuck out to me that night and today,

"Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand.  You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory.  Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever."
Psalm 74:23-26

Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Through

   I have the feeling that I'm going through something.  I don't know exactly what it is.  My only clues are that my emotions are highly elevated, meaning things that wouldn't normally make me cry, make me cry.  I don't cry that easily.  I am not a very emotional person.  Don't get me wrong I have emotions, I am not numb, but I am definitely different from most of the women in my family.  For example my Mom and my Sister, Aunties and some female cousins all cry, and sometimes bawl, when we all say goodbye.  I never do.  Goodbyes are never really sad to me, I never think that I'm not going to see you again, in fact I usually think the opposite.  "I'll be back!"  So I don't get sad. 
     I am not pregnant if that's what your thinking.  I know cause that crossed my mind too, I checked, nope not pregnant.  (I even bought a test to check, negative!)  
    Not that I put all that much faith in my feels, knowing that what I'm feeling may not actually be based on truth. 
   So while in the midst of this unknown phenomenon I just keep praying that God will work it out.  The way He always does, revealing to me what I need to know, need to deal with.  I am not into digging around, that just gets more trouble than it's worth, nope, I will wait on the Lord and His good timing. 
   Meanwhile learning to allow these emotions to surface and giving them to the Lord as they come is hard to do.  My first reaction is "Come on now what is that! Get it together woman!"  Hahahaa!    Maybe all I really need to do is be allowed to have these emotions without reason, just let them be.  Kinda goes against my nature though, I like to have a reason for things.  You know, cry because something is sad or there is pain. 
I guess it isn't just nothing that makes me emotional.  It has been something I read or have seen or think about that brings it out.
For example I read some things at Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience.
This is what I read, "just remain moment by moment in the Vine and there is the promise. Of yielding more in the end than an unlived life. ":  and "this is where God is. In the present. I AM.

Here is the only place I can love Him. Here is good."
Even reading it now the tears are burning my eyes.  Why?  What is it about these words that touches a place so deep in my heart that it is foreign to me.  At the moment I don't know, but I trust my God who is doing the work in my heart that in time He will reaveal it to me.  Then perhaps I will be able to share it with you.
In the mean time I really encourage you to go to Ann's blog.  She is an amazing writer, gifted actually. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Up To My Eyeballs

Wow, it was so much easier to post when I had instructions on what to write about!
My days have been filled with trying to get more school done, organizing chores and making sure they get done. 
Lately I feel like I'm settling more fights and dealing with more discipline issues up to my eyeballs!
It must be cabin fever, time for Spring!! Unfortunately the weather here is less than springy. 
I had a couple of sick days, now I'm waiting for the energy I had last week to kick back in again.  Josh and I were both amazed at the amount of organizing and cleaning I got into!  Must be all that working out finally paying off.  I have had a bit more energy, about a month after starting.  Last week though I had energy to spare! Which never happens to me!
Right now my goal is to get Unit 2 done! I have a future goal of getting us through Unit 3 and 4 by Sept.  so we can start Year 3.  Year 3 is the one Bradon needs for Grade 10 learning outcomes.  Funny I've never followed learning outcomes before, the only reason I am now is so he can be tracked for a Dogwood Diploma.  (For those of you not in BC a dogwood is the name that BC gave to it's highschool diploma.  Don't ask me why it's not just called "Diploma".  I guess we have to be special.) 
I need to find some other Canadian Tapestry of Grace users.  I need to pick their brains on what they did for Canadian History.  The end of Year 2, and most of Year 3 are basically US history.  So I won't follow the curriculum exactly.  For example when we do the week about Jamestown Colony I will find a similar Canadian parallel to use instead.  Some US History stories we will look at, I'll pick and choose as we go along. 
So that's my week so far.  How 'bout you?