My friend Nicole from church made this amazing squidoo lens about homemaking which actually won “lens of the day”. Check it out here. (Nicole, I no longer have your blog address to link to, so if you read this, leave a comment . )
My brother-in-law Dan won photo of the day here (scroll down to see the picture). Dan is truly an artist when it comes to photography. He is especially good at photographing children. This is Charli looking out of Grammy’s sliding glass door at her cousins playing outside.
(left to right: Abby, Me, Mom, Karyn)
There are very distinct differences between breaks I take and breaks I have been given. Taking a break often happens when I decide I don’t want to do my life anymore. This isn’t as dramatic as it sounds. When I take a break, I usually manipulate to get it. I use emotions, fatigue, a litany of the events that made my day hard and I wrap them all together to make one big excuse for why I should take a break. I’m not talking about a huge break like buying a bus ticket and heading to New York. I’m talking about things like me counting down the minutes until Jason gets home just so that I can take a break from the kiddos. Or going to my Mom’s when I still have work to do at home. It’s taking too much time on the computer or the phone. Or it’s turning Jason’s day off into my day off. The problem with these breaks is that they simply make reality all the more difficult to face again. For a moment there is a bit of relief, but what should have been done is still there waiting for me. What damage I have caused by neglecting my husband or children only adds to the original difficulty I was trying to take a break from.
But there is another kind of break. It’s the break given to me by God. It comes at just the right time. Maybe it’s Monday morning when Jason sends me to Panera to read and be re-envisioned for my life as a wife and mother. Maybe it’s when all my work is done and I head over to my moms where my kids play so well with their cousins that correction is almost non-existent. Or maybe it’s a trip to
Las Vegas to be with the girls in my family to celebrate Karyn’s 40th birthday. We had such a wonderful time. We laughed hard, ate well, and rested long. I am so amazed at God’s kindness to me expressed in Jason’s allowing me to go while he stayed with the kids (even homeschooled them!!!), my parents who paid for the spa day and pretty much all of the meals once we arrived, and my Aunt who graciously hosted us. This time in Vegas was a memory I will cherish forever.
Whether the break is big or small, one way I know it’s from God that I am so happy to get back to reality. I love my life, and a God-given break convinces me of this more than anything else. So nice to be back home!
While Beth is in Phily, I will spending my day
running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting ready to go to Nevada tomorrow to visit my Aunt and my cousins. They happen to live in Vegas.
Karyn (my sister) celebrated her 40th birthday this year back in December, and this is how we decided to celebrate: girlie time in Vegas. My mom and Karyn left on Wednesday and will be there an entire week. Abby and I leave tomorrow. She’s picking me up at 4:45 am…yikes! We will have fun visiting all of the amazing casinos…not to gamble, of course, but to look around. They have places that resemble New York City, Paris, and Venise. They have malls in these casinos that are astounding. It truly is an amazing place. We will also be staying overnight in a little hotel in the mountains for some R&R. But mostly we will have fun because my Aunt is one of the funniest people ever. I never see my mom laugh so hard and long as when she’s with Aunt Fran. My Vegas family is just really fun. They are the kind of people who bring the party with them wherever they go.
The only sad part is leaving my husband and children. Jason is so gracious to not just let me go, but really joyfully release me. He is happy for me to have time away, even if it is at a cost to him (in more ways than one). I. love. this. man.
So Beth, enjoy Philly! I’ll try to blog while in Vegas.
Elvis, here I come!
I was so happy to read Beth’s movie recommendations. Aren’t you glad to find a worthwhile chick flick once in a while? Our Mutual Friend is a great movie based on Charles Dickens’ last novel. I am not a huge Dickens fan, but I love the movie adaptations of both Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend.
This movie is slow going initially, and rather dark (like all of the Dicken’s settings). But please hang in there. There is a twist 3/4′s of the way through that is so worth watching. Another bous is that even Jason watched it with me. Hope he doesn’t mind that little tidbit of information flying through the blogosphere. I think he endured because of the mystery involved. This isn’t a typical chick flick, trust me.
Do you have any movie recommendations that are hidden gems?
A long time ago I told you I would post about cleaning schedule options I have used for the mommy years. Before I begin the practical suggestions here, I want you to know that I probably only use a structured house work routine half of the time. The other half of the time I just clean whatever needs the most attention. I will say, however, that I prefer the housework schedule for one main reason: when I’m finished my work for the day, I’m finished. When I’m not using a schedule that whole “always-something-else-to-clean” thing drives me crazy and it feels like there is never an end to the house work to be done.
I love change and become bored without it, so I have changed between the following methods over the years.
1. Floor of the House Approach. This approach designates a floor of the house for each day of the week. My schedule (when I use this approach) looks like this:
Monday: menu planning, grocery shopping
Tuesday: main floor
Thursday: main floor
Saturday: laundry catch up; change sheets (honestly, this doesn’t happen weekly for the kids because they sleep on top of their made bed with blankets ).
Each of these floors gets vacuumed, dusted, and the bathroom cleaned on the day that it falls on. Mind you, I have kids old enough to do these chores, so if it sounds like too much, just modify it. My upstairs and basement only get dusted monthly at best. You may not need to vacuum as much either. We have burgundy carpet throughout (not my choice, but actually rather pretty) so the main floor could be vacuumed everyday. But because it’s not on my list everyday, I don’t feel the pressure to do it.
2. Chore of the Day Approach. Like the ladies of old, this designates a certain chore to certain days. I haven’t used this for a while now, so I’m a bit rusty, but the schedule may look like this:
Monday: errands, grocery shopping
Tuesday: laundry, ironing
Wednesday: Bathroom cleaning day
Thursday: vacuuming day
Friday: dusting day
Saturday: laundry, scrub kitchen floor
3. Major Cleaning Day. Honestly, I used this more before I had children, but it might work if you have a friend to take the little guys for a while so you can do some serious cleaning (maybe a tradeoff thing). Simply maintain your home during the rest of the week. You probably want to keep up on laundry and keep things picked up at the end of each day. Then, one day a week do the whole nine yards: vacuum what needs it, dust, scrub some bathrooms, etc. If you’re not a perfectionist, you could probably do this in a couple of hours…as long as it’s basically picked up before you get started.
4. Default Mode. This is what I always default to, which I’m fine about. Basically, consider the schedule for the week. Am I going to be near Aldis anytime? Will Jason be out of town? Am I hosting a meeting? Are we going out of town? After considering the schedule, I will decide what days are best to do whatever. If I’m having a meeting, my emphasis for housework will be on the floor that the meeting is on. If Jason is out of town, I might do more organizational-type stuff and let the rest of the house suffer a bit. If I’m going to be near a store like Aldis or BJ’s I might just run in real quick rather than have an official grocery day. If we’re going to be out of town and the kids are staying at home with a sitter, my emphasis will be laundry, and freezer meals. You see what I mean? It is less scheduled, so more things fall through the cracks - like dusting the basement…but I’m not a cleany-type, so that’s fine with me.
When my children were little, this work around the house mostly happened when the kids were sleeping, or when they were watching videos. Otherwise, it was interrupted a lot…which is fine if you’re expecting that it may take all day to dust one floor.
One last thing. When I was first trying to grow in the area of home management, a friend of mine and I decided to coordinate our cleaning schedules. We would call once in a while to see if the other had done the chores for the day. It was fun knowing that I wasn’t alone in my efforts, and the accountability/commaradary was great.
What is your approach to housework?
It wasn’t the date night discussion my husband had planned. On the ride home I proceeded to
dump my anxiety on share my concern with Jason about a pattern I was seeing in our boys lately. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Jason values my observations of our boys because I am the one with them all day, but the distinct fear and unbelief that so often accompanies these observations was less than helpful.
The pattern I noticed was an increasing resistance to correction. I will spare the details, but if you take your typical blame-shifting, excuse-making, and add to it a healthy dose of ego you’ve got the general idea. So often when I see things that are legitimately concerning about my children I go into this weird guilt-fear-unbelief mode. The guilt is from how familiar their sin looks (this is my fault…they’re just like me!!!). The fear is from how their lives will go if they don’t learn to humbly receive correction. And the unbelief is from looking at myself as the one who will be the source of change for them.
The morning after our discussion, Jason came up to me and and said, “You are not going to believe what the chapter in Young Peacemaker (the book he is doing with them for Bible) is about this week…receiving correction!” God had planned all along that I would see what I needed to see about the boys before we read this chapter, and then He planned to have a tool ready for helping them change. If I had eyes of faith I would have seen all along that any revelation of sin is grace. God’s grace once again showed me what I needed to see. And rather than be grateful for the grace, I panicked and immediately committed the sin of unbelief. And yet, as I type I realize that seeing my unbelief is amazing grace at work as well.
Father, help me to recognize that seeing sin either in my life or my children’s lives is a work of your Spirit. Help me to be grateful for such grace. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, You cleanse us from our sins, and You alone can change our hearts…mine and my boys!
For those of you who don’t know….
In the context of web logs / ‘blogs / blogging and other kinds of personal web sites it’s some kind of list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. I generally consider these to be actual questions and not some multiple choice quizzes that determine some result at the end (what color you are most like, what cartoon character are you, what 80s movie are you).
Sometimes these show up in the form of “tag”.
Here’s how this tag goes:
1) Grab the book closest to you
2) Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence
3) Post the text of the following 3 sentences
4) Name the author and book title
5) Tag three people to do the same
Here it is:
“How might the diversity of persons in the Trinity encourage parents to allow their children to develop different interests from each other, and from their parents, without thinking that the unity of the family will be damaged? Have you ever thought that if your church allows new or different kinds of ministreies to develop, it might hinder the unity of the church? How might the fact of unity and diversity in the Trinity help you to approach those questions? do you think that the trinitarian nature of God is more fully reflected in a church in which all the members have the same racial background, or one in which the members come from many different races?”
This is from Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
I love the first question. It challenges me in regard to my boys in particular. So far they all influence the other’s interests. Josh is my sports fanatic (they all love sports, but not like he does). Caleb is my imaginative guy (writing comes easily, loves to draw, loves to play make-believe). Israel is my clever builder (lego genius). We generally buy them the same kinds of things for Christmas and birthdays (so they can play with each other). We usually keep them on the same sports team (out of convenience). We will have to revisit some of our thinking. I have often marvelled how God has used their different gifts and talents to make them more like one another. Now I anticipate seeing how God will be glorified through their differences. Never thought of it in regards to reflecting in some small way the beauty of the Trinity. Thank you Beth for tagging me, and thank you Dr. Grudem for the insightful questions.
I tag my single girlfriends: Amanda, Sacha, and Kristin.
Just kidding! Sorry there has been so much fluff around here lately. I couldn’t resist passing this on. Faith blogged it originally.
O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigd e Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Somehow this gives me fresh hope for continuing to teach my kindergartener how to read. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made by our God who is incomprehensible.
After reading my entry from two years ago, I realize that today is strangely similar. I had a rough night’s sleep last night. I didn’t have much of a quiet time because I woke up when the kids did instead of before them. I felt weak to do life today, just like then. I have had to ask forgiveness several times for impatience and anger. It is sweet to be reminded in light of these things of the unchanging One. His mercy is still available today. His forgiveness is still here. His grace to do what I’m called to (whether I feel like it or not) has not diminished. He is what my soul really needs and longs for. He is still the glorious One who never sleeps or slumbers. I am always and ever will be weak, frail, and utterly dependent on Him everyday – whether I realize it or not. I think I’ll spend some time with Him while the kids go play in the basement.