Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Longing for something different...

Finishing well to the end... easier said than done.  The pool is open, berries are calling to be picked, our summer bucket list is itching to be chalked out, and mentally, we are all done!  Next week should finish up our school year in the amount of days required.  A few books will continue throughout the summer to keep those wheels-a-turning.   

Change is the only constant part of life.  As humans, we are often longing for something different... a change of pace, a change of scenery, a break from the mundane.  I am ready for a little change!

I'm ready to read more, at least things that I want to read and not just what's listed in our lesson plans.  I look forward to curling up on the couch with my girls and reading some of our favorites and some new ones too.  

I finished Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma.  The subtitle says it all:  A Mom's 12-month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth EntitlementShe begins the book by asking the question, "Why am I standing with my arms up to catch my kids before they even get a chance to fail at work?  Instead of encouraging independence and an ability to assess a situation with an eye to what needs doing, I've taught them to be utterly dependent on me."  Guilty!

But by the end, she challenges and encourages parents.  "Culture doesn't determine who people become.  People determine what the culture will be.  Might our equipped, empowered, unentitled kids be the ones who set the course for the future."  Excellent book, but probably geared more towards parents of older elementary to high school children.  I've definitely learned a lot and hope to incorporate some of the advice gleaned from this book.

My current read on my nightstand (purse, pool bag...) was given to me by my sweet husband.  Treasuring Christ (when your hands are full) by Gloria Furman and has been exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life.  When I can't get through the introduction without underlining half of it, I know it will be a keeper.  What I have loved the most about this book is how scripture is infused within every paragraph.  She doesn't just write fluff to make me feel good. Everything word written is based upon God's word.  

"Day and night, moment by moment, we must choose to rest in Jesus.  That's what it means to treasure Christ when your hands are full, whether you have one child or a dozen." 

"Advice on things such as choosing a safe car seat or teaching a finicky preschooler to eat a well-balanced meal is easy to come by. Instructions on how to love your neighbor and nurture your children are also readily available.  What we are less likely to come by is encouragement to consider how the gospel transforms our motherhood." - G. Furman

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grace Goals...

For some, goals may be determined as standards demanded to be met, for others they are laid out as a form of accountability, yet even others find goals to be traps for failure for all those plans unmet.  I can easily fall prey into the last category.  Here it is mid May, June drawing close, and in the blog world, I'm far behind.  But there is grace...  No one else may care whether I blog about goals or not, but it does (in some weird way) hold me accountable, pushes me to step out of my complacency, and strive to just get out of bed sometimes.  

Aspirations for April...
1.  Plan a new spring menu (less grains, more veggies & protein). - almost completed!  
2.  Point my girls to the real meaning of Easter. - not as I had hoped, but yet no regrets. (read more about it here.)
3.  Start every day with a clean kitchen table. - I maybe accomplished this goal every other day.  Not perfect by any means, but on the clean days, there was more freedom in starting off with an open surface.
4.  Finish two of the books I'm reading:  Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman & Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma. - Whoo hoo!  I read Not a Fan with my homeschool group and it was convicting once again.  I'll try to write more about Cleaning House in the near future.
5.  Truly rest on our little family spring break. - such a blessing!

So for the rest of May and June, my goals will be layered with grace, thought through and laid out with the hopes of fulfilling them, but given wide enough boundaries that I pray God will glorified through them.

Grace Goals for May & June:
1.  Finish our school year well, not just surviving.
2.  Plan and enjoy my 10 year old's (oh my goodness!) birthday party.
3.  Make our summer bucket list.
4.  Read Treasuring Christ when Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman and A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman.
5.  Find and try healthy recipes for summer essentials (sunscreen, fruit wash, insect repellent, etc).
6.  Declutter my closet.
7.  Prioritize my mornings.
8.  Open our home to others (& choose to let go of my expectations).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

For my mama...

Mother's day is only a few hours away where my mother is right now.  She will wake up in a tiny apartment with my dad showing his sweet appreciation for the wife and mother she is and has always been.  How blessed we are!  Memories fill the walls with pictures of the growing generations, the computer screen keeps her in tune with the daily ups and downs of her offspring's lives, and the phone close by is a constant reminder that we are only phone call away. 

My mother is amazing...  I'm sure I didn't always say that as a teenager, but I know I believed it even then.  As a Nana, she can't be beat.  The patience to teach my girls how to sew, the support she and my dad have shown by coming to every recital possible (even over Skype), the tea parties, the walks, the list could go on...  

But what I love the most is the legacy she's given to my sisters and me, and to our children. Her greatest desire is for us all to know her Lord and redeemer who (as she would say) pulled her up out of life destined for destruction.  She is constantly pointing my girls to Jesus.  For this, I will be eternally grateful. 

Even though, you're on the other side of the world, "Happy Mother's Day, Mama!"  Thank you for being the most amazing example of what a godly wife and mother looks like!