Of course these things will be different for all of us. Some of mine were making a gingerbread house with the kids- and I wanted to read Little Women to the girls and end the season watching the movie together. These things probably wouldn't be in your top 1 million- but I know you have things, too! So, why not take a moment to decide now what is truly important to you, and decide to get it done first. You can bank on not having time "left" to do these "too-important-to-miss" things!
Now- get off the computer- and GO MAKE SOME MEMORIES!!! :-) unless of course it's midnight and hubby or the kids are asleep- but put it TOP of tomorrow's list at least.
love to you all...
PS- In response to SusieQTpie's comment- NO :) This is NOT the gingerbread house we made LOL! Just a good representative "gingerbread house" I found! Ours was an "out of the box" kit! (I'm just cracking up here-) And- Ryan & I were just talking of posting a pic of a gingerbread house that Hope brought home from a church activity tonight made out of small graham crackers- it's half eaten and roof fell off! That would be good humor!
Josiah turned 4 today and is sleeping tonight for the first time in a "big boy bed". I'm feeling a little sentimental about it all... I go most of the year without being a really sentimental gal- but, the older my kids get, the more I find their birthdays bring it out in me. It's a good thing. :)
Philippians 2:3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
It's not that any of these things is really new news. It's just that in the humdrum of life, the sense of urgency tends to wane. But, what more perfect time than advent, to recommit to being ready- recommit to being present- to recommit to being alive and fully engaged in the lives of those the Lord has place around us, in our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our neighborhoods, etc ? In an email I got- it was suggestd that we make a holiday "hit list" rather than a to-do list. I thought this wise. What things do you not want to get to January 2nd and not have done? Write those things down. Complete this sentence... "I'll feel really let down if I don't __________." Move that up on the list, and move something like... cleaning under the sofa, down. (You don't do that regularly, do you?) Blessings to each of you as you seek to live out your "inspired life"...
I've been thinking a lot about those who sacrificed to begin this country- and those who Thanksgiving really commemorates. They had high ideals of a land where they could worship freely, and I think that is INSPIRING! To hold such convictions, that you're willing to risk perilous journey to an unknown land... this is living intentionally- and think with vision for the generations to come! I am thankful for their vision, their courage, their passion, convictions, and many sacrifices. I am thankful for those who came before them- defending their right to live here, work here, worship here, raise their families here, and eventually, govern themselves here. I am thankful for those who have and continue to serve in our military defending these rights. No matter what you think of America- how it's turning out- we must all admit, that the most people immigrate here. It's where people from around the world want to come. There are reasons for that!
So, there are COUNTLESS things to be thankful for each and every day- what things have been on YOUR heart this week? Please, share!
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
What does it look like to be thankful this week? Does it include shouting for joy? Worshiping with gladness and song? Knowing that our LORD is God- and that we are His... Entering HIS gates with thanksgiving and praise- praising His Name? Even in these hard times, we have so much to be thankful for. In fact, if we had nothing else but Him, it would be more than enough, wouldn't it. I'm going to try to remember that and to be thankful, Psalm 100 style, this week as I prepare for Thanksgiving Day and Advent. I hope that you will too...
Love to you all... and Happy Thanksgiving!
Grab a cup of tea or java or just a snack and let's chat! I am having a brain-freeze of an afternoon! I KNOW that SHOULD be doing one of about a million things... but I just can't seem to think of what they are (or don't want to?). So, at present, I'm chatting with you! :) What's on your heart lately? Is life getting hectic? How are you doing on your sense of calling? Living out your calling? Where are you at with the Lord? Having good quiet times? What is the Lord teaching you? Have you had ANY quietness with Him for your soul to find rest?
As I ask these questions, I sit in my warm, cozy, bed, at 330 in the afternoon. I'm not ill- in fact, went to the dentist a bit ago- got a good report. Perhaps it was the snow that graced our ground this morning... perhaps it's the hot drink I'd like to be sipping? I'm not sure why I'm just sitting here or what I should be doing, but Josiah and I have played Go Fish and Boggle, Jr (sort of- the game actually ended with him putting the blocks down the legs of his footy jammies turning himself into a human maraca!- yes, he's still in his jammies at 3:30- wish I was, too!) The girls are following the "hide out" principle- you know, if we're quiet and don't make any waves we'll get to keep playing! But, very soon, I'll remember all the things that are practically SCREAMING to be done- and the girls will get back to their unfinished schoolwork, and the boys will play playdoh and I'll go back to being a busy Mom. But, for this last moment, what is the Lord saying to us of His Kingdom? What of His great love? What of His desire to nurture us and have us nurture and give grace to each other???
Encourage someone this afternoon- your child, your spouse, neighbor, a friend on the phone- or all of the above- with God's great love!
Also, if you've got one more minute- I'd like to tell you about a mission we heard about yesterday at PATCH (homeschool co-op). They are the brother and sister-in-law of one of our Moms. I just cried as I watched Video 2008 (Link on the top left). Take a minute. It's worth the few minutes, really! His Mission, Agdao
Now, off to do some school and ... well... almost time to make dinner now. Any suggestions? :)
Love to you all...
Barak Hussein Obama is America's President-Elect. I will join millions of Christians in praying for him and our country. He is our elected president- and that deserves respect, whether he was my pick or not. I received a great email today about this, and my husband has a blog series going on things to pray for him. The Presidential Prayer Team has a 77-day campaign going- praying for him in this time of transition. Check it out (thanks Marge!)!
Check out the new poll on the right and tell me what you'd do with an hour and a half to yourself. If your choice isn't listed, comment and I'll add it! :)
Also, I had a rough day today. No details... but, would you say a prayer for me? Thank you in advance! On to the real post topic... As for the holidays...
What are you doing NOW to start getting ready for the holidays, if anything?
Comment and let me know (so I can do it, too!)
Really... need I say more?!?!
Have a good one! Enjoy some alone time...
(Thanks to Heidi for passing this on to me!)
Part of "Living the Inspired Life" for me is knowing what I WANT life to be and making plans to help it actually become that way. The problem is when everyday life, aka "reality", intersects the ideals in my mind, ya know?
So, I want to go to bed at 11am so I can easily rise at 5:45 or 6 to get started with day in quietness... not 7:30 or 8 after the kids have filled the house with much... joy :) .
Tell me- in what ways are your ideal and your reality at odds? And, how do you cope with it, take it in stride, incorporate it, or make the most of it?
"Judy had written her own addendum in a shaking penmanship as her hands were beginning to fail her.
doctor and spoke on my behalf. He
cares for me every day with a smile
and inspiring words. He looks like my
husband but I know he is Jesus.'"
This is true love- not infatuation- not "falling" in love, the kind that so many also fall OUT of, not a selfish love that says "What have you done for me lately?"- but unconditional, selfless love, the kind of love that Jesus gave. Judy's husband John showed her that love as her body slowly failed her. This is the kind of love we need to pray and ask the Lord to fill us with for our spouses, children, and others around us. Thanks to Margaret Prator who penned the tribute for Chicken Soup. Blessings to you all, my friends, as we seek to love- selflessly.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10
I wondered this during the movie, "Fireproof". If you haven't seen it, WHAT are you waiting for?!?!?! It is a GREAT date night! Anyway- seems it IS a real book! Check out The Love Dare and consider sharing it with someone who confides marriage struggles with you. Encourage them to see the movie and remind them they cannot expect results- they must simply accept the challenge. In fact- expect bad results for awhile! But, in time... it will change hearts! I may have said this before- but it bears repeating. My husband says in marriage counseling- "The grass isn't greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it!" So, let's be sure we're watering our marriages! Take the "Love Dare" and dive into unselfish giving to your spouse! Very INSPIRING!
If you are a scrapbooker- you need to check out this blog! :) Faith Sisters encourages scrapbookers to scrapbook and pass on their faith- AND their are some really GREAT layouts! As long as we're talking scrapbooking- if you do digital scrapbooking- check out Misty Cato Designs, too. The only thing I don't like about some of it is the one picture on the side of the page with the rest of the 12x12 filled with artsy stuff- if I'm going to take the time to scrapbook- I'm going to be documenting an event and using enough pics to remember the event! :) So, I adapt- but I like a lot of the looks they use! I've been trying to take one night a week for a while before bed to tag photos and do one digital page layout. Two weeks straight--- WOO HOO! :) Hope it lasts! My goal last year was to accumulate pages through the year then have them printed and have the book be a family Christmas present. Didn't happen. Maybe this year?!?! Happy Memory making... and as the Faith Sisters encourage- faith legacy documenting. (Please comment and share with me your fav. scrapbooking inspirations on the net!)
If you are a Christian parent- check out my new blog Discipling Your Kids. I've been thinking about this for a while now. I wanted to have a dedicated place to dialogue about discipling my children and now- I've taken action! Hope you'll join the conversation!
I wanted to let you all know of a resource that is available. You know how many women have chosen abortion- even women we might not think. Abortion- contrary to the commonly propogated idea- leaves many pains and scars in a woman's (and man's) life. This is the description of their ministry from their website.
"Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing."
Chances are good that you know people who've had an abortion- whether they've shared that with you or not. Take the opportunity- maybe during a Bible study or other place where women are gathered- to share the website and ministry that can begin the healing process. Many women feel they cannot be forgiven. Abortion is NOT the unforgiveable sin- though the enemy will always try to make us believe that!
If they can't attend a retreat- Rachel's Vineyard has 2 books available that deal with post-abortive trauma. Pray for women in crisis pregnancies... pray they would find help at a CHRISTIAN Crisis Pregnancy Center. And pray for the many, many, many women, living with the shame, grief, and hopelessness abortion leaves behind when the child is gone.
Therefore, I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and transform her Valley of Troubles
into a Door of Hope
There she will sing with joy
as in days long ago in her youth,
after I had freed her from captivity.
Then you will lie down in peace and safety, unafraid;
And I will bind you to me forever
with chains of righteousness and justice, love and mercy.
I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and love,
and you will really know me then as you never have before.
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Love you all...
Well, two posts almost simultaneously! But we just returned from seeing the movie Fireproof. YOU MUST GO SEE IT NOW!!!! :) This is its opening weekend- and we want to show Hollywood with the first weekend that we will go see good Christian films! And this is a FABULOUS Christan movie. I cannot recommend it highly enough! PLEEEEASE go see it! Pretty please!!! I guarantee, you won't be sorry!
Also, you must check out this Fox News.com headlining article about Kirk Cameron's own marriage.
Fireproof- is without a doubt- inspiring! Living the Inspired Life (with the grace of God!),
So... one day after hauling 4 kids around Walmart, an aching back from pushing the three hundred pound cart (there were tons of groceries, but 3 kids in or on the cart and a 4th in a front pack- maybe it just fELt like 300...) and then heaving the bags one by one into the van. I had seen a banner on Amazon.com about groceries. I decided I must look into this alternate way of shopping! Now, after almost a year of using Amazon Prime- I wanted to tell you about it and how it has helped me. First, you may want to know- what is Amazon Prime? It is basically a shipping membership. You pay a standard yearly fee for unlimited 2-day shipping. Specifically the benefits are:
1. Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Amazon.com items
2. Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
3. Shopping with no minimum order size
4. Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members
5. 1 Month Free Trial
I don't know if you shop on amazon.com much- I did and still do. I find it very convenient for... just about everything. Started with books, and used books, then electronics, all gifts- kids and adults, and now I even buy groceries. With Amazon Prime- all your shipping is 2 day- so if I order it this morning, it will be here on Monday morning. And, only once in the entire year has something been a day late! And, if I need something tomorrow- I can pay $3 or 4 and have it here the next day. I used to spend the $25 to get free shipping- but honestly, I spent a lot more money that way than I have with having Amazon Prime- now I don't buy things I don't really need just to make the $25 mark- I buy only what I need, when I need it and I don't worry about the shipping. Now, if Walmart is easy and convenient and you don't mind running over there every time you need something (as it used to be for me)- this may hold no benefit for you. But, if it is not close or convenient as it isn't for me and you do a lot of online shopping- I encourage you to look into it!
It has brought a great ease to my life and has been a huge help! So, I began getting things like a case of GF macaroni and a case of Juicy Juice (100% jice and no sugar added!) concentrate. Now I get diapers dropped off once a month, a case of TP once every 6 months, using their subscription service. These bigger items I don't even have to mess with at the store. Now, I just shop locally for meat and produce and other smaller things. But, I use it for much more than groceries...purchasing gifts, diapers, Bible study books for the group, all delivered day after tomorrow with no more shipping than my yearly fee. So, I shared Mvelopes with you- now, my experience with Amazon Prime. If it would save you time and money- check into it here.
If not- ignore, or tell someone with 4 kids who doesn't like to shop! :)
Love you all!
Well, Ani says to me this morning- "Mom! I wrote a new song, wanna hear it?" OF COURSE I do! :) and after one hearing I grabbed the camera and made her do it again. So... here it is! (Hope is playing tamborine with me in worship tomorrow- and singing a one line solo tag at the end of a song- so, Anya isn't really the only star of the family! Didn't want anyone to think I'm playing favorites!)
And... they were all playing "church" this afternoon- communion and all- and though fed his lines by Hope, Josiah was the presiding pastor. They made Ryan and I come sit on the "pews", sing, pray, listen to a sermon, and take communion! The candles were "lighted" and "unlighted" at the appropriate times signaling the beginning and end of the service as well! Too Cute! Have a relaxing and worshipful Sabbath tomorrow- Katherine
Also- have heard some questions about The Shack. I will be doing a written analysis for those who may have questions. It will be a story spoiler I'm sure- so- don't read it until you read the book! You are all totally capable of reading this book and making sound judgments- so don't be scared by others criticisms. Look at the underlying message of the reviewer. Look forward to sharing dialogue together about it!
Last- new slideshow with a few pics from our 10th Anniv trip to Daytona Beach. Ahh... the beach...
Much love ~katherine
It's day 2 of the new school year... and I'm finally posting! I have 3 posts I'd like to do, but I'll just roll them into one here. First, get the book The Shack! I read it in Florida and it was really life-changing. My husband and dear friend are both reading it now. I'd love to have more of you to dialogue about it with!
2nd- You must watch Steven Curtis Chapman and his family talk about the loss of their daughter Maria Sue. It moved us for 2 days.
After that, follow this link to get to parts 2 through 6. After watching each part, look to the right under "Related Videos" for the link to the next part. It is SO worth your time!!!
We had a WONDERFUL trip to FL last month to celebrate our 10th anniversary! I HIGHLY recommend it. How good for the soul to spend a few days by the pool or beach listening to laughter, waves, and wonderful praise music on the mp3, reading and journaling, and letting the soul just be. And reconnecting with one's spouse- is priceless. As my husband says, "The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you WATER IT!"- don't forget to water your marriage- somehow!!!
I've updated the books I'm reading--- and MAN! Are they good! I've finished most of them now, and am in "Coaching Your Kids...". It's fabulous! We must be discipling our children--- it is the highest calling of EVERY parent!
Last, how are you coming with clarifying your calling? Are you working to make your calendar reflect your calling and your goals? Are you working to put your time where your heart is? I hope so! It's a process... I know! Well, we've finished 2 days of homeschool- and so far so good! It's going well, but I need to use the timer to keep to the time I've allotted. We went a little long today. I pray that wherever you are- and wherever your kids are- you're having a good week getting back to learning- what a privilege it is! I love you all! ~Katherine
I'm sorry I've been so lax lately- lots of great company and traveling! Amidst it all, during my coaching sessions, I've been clarifying my calling. My calling is to our home as wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and pastor's wife and also to discipleship, first discipling our children, next looking at discipleship at the church and how it can improve.
What are your callings? Does your calendar reflect your callings? I'm learning to see that if my reality doesn't match my philosophy, then one has to change. If I say my calling is to the home but I spend all my time at home working on outside projects then I either need to be realistic and honest that my calling and priority is the outside poject (volunteering, whatever, you fill in the blank) or pare down my commitments so that I really am spending my time focusing on my home.
So, as we clarify our callings, let's use that mission statement (unofficial though it may be) to say NO to things that though they are GREAT things in and of themselves, will rob us of the joy of fulfilling the hope of our calling- and doing it WELL!!!
Blessings as you spend a quiet hour alone in the car with an ice cream cone praying about your calling and what commitments this fall will actually help you fulfill it! I will pray that you and I will hear the voice of the One doing the calling, not the one with all the excuses and justifications... but who else will do it? but what if that program doesn't happen? but, but, but... But, we'll never have this time back with our families. Someday, they will be grown and gone and we can volunteer ALL our time away...
We just survived VBS... and are recovering today. More consistent blogging in the near future! Praying you're all well... I have some new books to add the list, too...
Have a great one!
Hello out there-
Just a quick note to tell you what's most been inspiring me as of late. It's the crazy paradox of freedom through obedience and discipline. This is a topic I was REALLY into during grad school and the year or two after. But, life has distanced it from me and the Lord has brought it back to light. There are many seeming "paradoxes" in Scripture. Ryan preached on the "Foolishness of God" this morning- and it was a great reminder. "18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18) Look it up and read on from there... But, the point is - the world will see obedience and self-discipline and submission to the Lord and His will as shackles, stifling spontaneity and creativity, and bondage. But to those who are the Lord's- it is true life, peace, joy, fulfillment, and true freedom. So, I leave you with that thought as I head to bed. Blessings and joy,
Yes, I should be fast asleep, but I've been working hard to get this new 3 column look so that we could see comments as they come in right on the front page (at least a teaser of the comment). There's one error yet (which I won't point out in case you haven't noticed it already!)--- but I'm satisfied that I accomplished the goal. Also, check out the RSS feed- to the left- if you like to keep up with posts, you can receive them via the feed. You can also get comments the same way with the second button. Ok, my thirty-something mommy brain is ready to turn in (6:30am will come SO quickly). Thank you for keeping up with the inspirations I find in life- and a SPECIAL thanks to those of you who interact with me here!!! :) :) :) You know who you are! And remember- you can comment without registering now- so- it's so much easier than it was in the beginning! :)
Here's what I'm working with so far...
SUMMER MENU 2008 (these start on Sunday and go through Saturday)
Breakfasts: Gogurt and Breakfast bar, Pancakes, Cereal, Waffles, Oatmeal, Yogurt and Granola, Donuts, muffins, cereal
snacks: Muffins? bagels?, Pineapple-Orange Popsicles, Veggies and Sour Cream Pesto Dip, Fruit and Pina Colada Dip, Ants on a log, Four Cheese Snack Mix, Nuts/Trail Mix
lunches: Salads: Egg, tuna, chicken, Soup/Sandwich (grilled ch?), Mac n Cheese and Hotdogs, Froz. Pizza/Salad, Burritos/Taquitos, Leftovers
dinners: Breakfast for dinner, Mexican! (Quesadillas, nachos, tacos), Salads, Wraps/sandwiches/pitas, Grill Night, Homemade Pizza Night, leftovers?
I have a few specific meals for these dinners, but they pasted as a big, jumbled mess!!! I'm finding all my inspiration online if you need a recipe. This really doesn't take that long- use an excel spreadsheet to keep it easy to read.
I went to the Walden Diner tonight to do some preparation for summer. From time to time I do this- take my bag full of books, notebooks, whatever- and go to the ice cream stand, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, etc. and spend a little time reviewing my goals and setting some new ones. I need to get things out of my head and concrete on a page.
What do YOU do to refocus or recharge and keep yourself inspired??? Or do you have "me" time in another way?
Have a blessed, renewed, inspired evening!
PS- read a great blog on education called "A One-Room Schoolhouse for the 21st Century"
We are back from 8 days in Texas. We had a FABULOUS time catching up with my family there. We went to Dinosaur Valley State Park and the Creation Evidence Museum nearby. We spent a day at my uncle and aunt's new lakehouse and another day with the other side of the family over for brisket(BBQ), 4-part a capella hymns around the piano, and frisbee. Needless to say, a good-time was had by all! We also had the pleasure of going out to a Brazilian Steakhouse with our dear friends- it was QUITE the dining experience. Seriously not for the faint of stomach (or Vegetarian/Vegan- though the salad bar was unparalleled in my life experience thus far).
Now that we're back... Living Beyond Yourself (the next women's Bible study at church) has begun and I have a MILE-LONG list of projects for summer- 3 of which involve writing or organizing curriculum for next year.
Updates- Mary Elizabeth is doing well and is continuing to see some swelling reduction- praise God! So, I'll try to bug them for a photo. Kristen looks good- had a good FL vacation. Didn't specifically "feel" anything at the Revival- but as it isn't about feeling anything, just about what God wants to do, so continue to pray for God's veiled work there. I have another friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer- name is Allison- she is also our age and mom of 3 athletic boys. The wife of another friend of Ryan's, Mandy, is doing chemo for leukemia, also our age- so, I don't know what's up- but we need to get ANGRY at cancer and cast this stuff OUT!!!
May I just say that I am feeling INSPIRED?!?! I hope you are too. I had a productive day today and that helps. As you shift gears into summer, what is inspiring you? What are you looking forward to? How are you making your dreams reality?
Off to do some Bible study (which makes some of my dreams reality!),
p.s.- in a previous post I told you about Mvelopes- an online budgeting program. It's still very cool, and my first choice, however, they are having a hard time getting through my very small town bank's security. So, if you're looking for something simpler- as I will be doing if they don't fix it SOON- check out http://www.pearbudget.com/.
PS- will let you know when we hear anymore from our friends in FL! Ryan and Bruce arrived back safe and sound today... had a great trip- got 11 hrs sleep in 3 days...
Thursday, May 08, 2008
BOSTON — If a stay-at-home mom could be compensated in dollars rather than personal satisfaction and unconditional love, she'd rake in a nifty sum of nearly $117,000 a year.
That's according to a pre-Mother's Day study released Thursday by Salary.com, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm that studies workplace compensation.
The eighth annual survey calculated a mom's market value by studying pay levels for 10 job titles with duties that a typical mom performs, ranging from housekeeper and day care center teacher to van driver, psychologist and chief executive officer.
This year, the annual salary for a stay-at-home mom would be $116,805, while a working mom who also juggles an outside job would get $68,405 for her motherly duties.
One stay-at-home mom said the six-figure salary sounds a little low.
"I think a lot of people think we sit and home and have a lot of fun and don't do a lot of work," said Samantha Russell, a Fremont, N.H., mother who left her job as pastry chef to raise two boys, ages 2 and 4. "But they should try cleaning their house with little kids running around and messing it up right after them."
The biggest driver of a mom's theoretical salary is the amount of overtime pay she'd receive for working more than 40 hours a week. The 18,000 moms surveyed about their typical week reported working 94.4 hours — meaning they'd be spending more than half their working hours on overtime. Working moms reported an average 54.6 hour "mom work week" besides the hours they spent at paying jobs. Russell agreed her job as a stay-at-home mom is more than full-time. But she said her "job" brings intangible benefits she wouldn't enjoy in the workplace.
"The rewards aren't monetary, but it's a reward knowing that they're safe and happy," Russell said of her sons. "It's worth it all."
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this ? Can you tie this? Can you open this??
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great Cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building hen no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.
And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM!
I'm thinking tonight about achieving goals and dreams. Some people really do the things they dream of, while others continue to dream. What separates them? Just the doing.
I was reading (upon recommendation from a fellow homeschooling mother) Susan Wise Bauer's blog. http://www.susanwisebauer.com/blog/ I must say, I was truly inspired. She is living out dreams. Now, it appears to be a LOT of work. And I'd like to know what time she goes to bed- but, it was impressive and inspiring.
On the topic of dreams- my friend Wendy (along with her hubby Paul) will be traveling to Ethiopia next week to pick up their son JT whom they are adopting! Follow their journey at http://journeytojt.blogspot.com/.
On a parallel note to achieving dreams, the topic of boundaries came up in Bible study today. I need to dig out Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry Cloud and reread it. Having clearly defined boundaries means more people win in my life more often. This sounds like a good idea! Here's a link to the book./http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209604986&sr=8-1
By the way- I link to all these books and stuff- I don't make any money off that- FYI- I just like recommending resources, plain and simple. However, if you KNOW of a way I can profit from these links... ah, just kidding! :)
How have you drawn boundaries in your life and how does it help you keep everything in place and create a more win-win environment for more people in your life?
I have just watched a video online of Kristen (see previous post from a couple days ago) speaking at a MOPS meeting about "A Mother's Legacy". I was so blessed by this presentation! How Kristen can thank God for cancer is really just beyond my comprehension, but I have not walked with Him through that trial. Kristen has, and she thanks God- maybe not for getting to have cancer, but for the many, many blessings He has brought about because of it! You can watch this video here http://uncensored.citadel.org/igtube/MarchMeeting.html .
I was remiss in my previous post to not point you to www.inheritanceofhope.org. This is the website for Kristen and Deric's non-profit organization to reach out to other families who have a terminally ill parent. Her book is available there as well as more information about this much needed ministry- so check it out and see how you can support them!
Love to you all-
All this to say, that it feels really good to be open to serving the Lord in whatever capacity, familiar or unfamiliar, when He has a job and we're available to do it!
If you haven't ever taken Lifekeys or SHAPE (or Network or... ) Check out the book and consider discovering more about the supernatural gifts that are still very much being bestowed upon the church today...
A charismatic approach to the gifts with good definitions can be found in
This book is my husband's recommendation :)
Serving the Lord in the way He created you is one of the most fulfilling things on this earth... what is your calling and are you finding joy in fulfilling it?
Just wanted to give you a couple links for inspirational worship music!
first- http://www.worshiptogether.com/ look on the left hand side near the top for the purple button "New Music Jukebox". Great stuff!
Also- there's some good music at SovereignGrace.com (or sovereigngracemusic.org). My personal favorite right now is "O Great God". Find it here... http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M4175-07-51 You can listen to a sample, read the lyrics- and if you like it- buy it for $1 :).
- Direction in next stage of treatment
- Encouragement and strength
- Peace of mind and trust in the Lord's good plan
- Strength for her husband Deric and children
- of course... complete removal of every cancerous cell from her body!!!
This image is called "Finding Inspiration"- seemed appropriate :)
After experiencing some discouragement and warfare last night- I feel the Lord called me to "Count my blessings"- literally. There are so many in our world- really everyone- is suffering in some way. I have been so blessed in so many ways and needed to see in black in white what others are dealing with. It doesn't happen often, thankfully, but occasionally I go into a self-pity mode. (Please tell me I'm not the only one!) Not usually over anything big- but just a defeated countenance where I brood over imperfections or struggles. Undoubtedly I have someone in mind who does not struggle with the same things. (I omit in my thinking that they have their own struggles- everyone does!) I am including my basic format and verses so you can copy it (into Word perhaps) and count your own blessings! May you see how fortunate you are- to be a deeply loved child of God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. (If you don't feel that way- please email me and let me share the best news in the world with you!)
It’s all in how you look at it...
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. ~Psalm 103:2-5
16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.. ~John 1:16-17
Erase these and make them specific to your life- and then contrast what some are going through
See yourself as your Heavenly Father sees you through the work of Christ- perfect... He's a proud Father- and He's proud of you! Praise His Name!
The ONLY drawback to the whole scenario is... you have to actually log in and assign the transactions every day- or every other day- or at the very least once a week! Otherwise, it looks just like another bank statement and is too overwhelming- nor do you remember what you bought at Amazon, why, and with what money you intended to pay for it! (been there, done that!) But, this time- I'm really making a go at it!
Here's my tip for remembering to log in and assign my transactions- I set my homepage to Mvelopes. And when I get online each day- there's just one or two transactions- not overwhelming in the slightest- and- as I make purchases now, I'm thinking "what envelope is this going to come out of?" - and it is inhibiting my spending with reality. This is a good thing :)
Try it out at www.mvelopes.com. Let me know how much debt it saves YOU from going into! :)
So, I'm entering a new season- I'm able to get rid of ALL my baby stuff- including the infant seat as he moved up into a forward facing seat today. He doesn't want to be in a play pen now that he's walking. It's schooldays ahead... (sigh).
That's all... (sigh).
Have a good night! No new resources today. Well, I guess I should just say that making a little movie with Windows Movie Maker (which came with Vista) was really pretty simple. So, there you go- one new resource to try out!
1- Irreducible parts. There are many things that could not have 'arisen' over time from nothingness, because if you take away any of their parts, they would cease to function and therefore could not possibly have evolved. For example- the human eye, blood, or the flagellar motor (I watched a great DVD about that!)!
2-Information. Chaos does not give way to information. DNA for example contains billions of pieces of information. For that information to mean anything there has to be a language, per se, or a code, making the information meaningful and useful. To believe that the "gases floating in space, after a big bang, organized themselves into a cell"... is a bigger stretch to me than that it had a designer!
3- Order. Everything in the universe is ordered. Things in chaos self-destruct. Things that live by an order are able to fulfill a purpose. Consider the order in the solar system, the tides of ocean, the seasons, our bodies... I could go on and on and on!
Evolution cannot address these 3 points. They cannot explain them away. Nor do they have any example of MACRO evolution anywhere! Micro evolution is different- but, we all believe in subtle adaptations within a species- but not that one species evolved into another.
The worst lie of evolution that I believe has most deeply affected our young people is that they are just an accident- a chemical blip- no specific purpose for their lives... so sad and so UNTRUE!
If you want to be able to speak intelligently to those who oppose creation and have bought the lies of evolution- check out the resources at
http://www.answersingenesis.org/ or http://www.drdino.com/ or http://www.thetruthproject.org/
You were made with a purpse! Live the INSPIRED life God has planned specifically for YOU! He had it in mind when He purposefully made you!
and http://www.parentalrights.org to sign petitions on the matter!!!
Have a late-fee-free day!
I am reviewing the idea of lifeskills today. I personally am short on many of them (my own fault!) and consequently, I forsee that my children will struggle with them, too. So, after searching the internet and reading in a few books, I've begun compiling a list, which eventually will be exhaustive but isn't yet, of lifeskills I want my children to achieve and integrate into their everyday lives. Feel free to copy the list and update- but when you hit spots I've totally missed, be sure to send them to me! And, may I recommend Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field? It is really the only and most excellent book on the topic! Some books by Kathy Peel also have good age-appropriate chore lists, as Christine Field does. Here it is... (it is overwhelming but the idea is the check them off as they are learned and become integrated into life without having to do stickers, reminders, etc.)...
Life Skills List
Daily Self Care
Pajamas put away
Spread up blanket
Make bed neatly
Make simple breakfast: cereal, bagel, yogurt
Make hot breakfast:
Start schoolwork by self, following checklist (pictures or words)
Clean up as you go (don’t move on until the last is picked up)
Layout matching clothes for tomorrow
Deal with today’s clothes- dirty? Hamper. Re-wearable? Fold and put away.
Shoes in the shoe hanger.
Pick up room
Fold washcloths, towels
Sort laundry: lights, darks, reds
Put own clean laundry neatly away
Fold clothes and sort into correct tubs
Wash clothes running the washer and the dryer independently
Hang shirts on hangers and put away in right closet
Dirty clothing always goes in hamper
Not dirty clothes, get folded and go back in the drawer
Toys and stuffed animals picked up and in proper place
Books neatly on shelves
Trash in trashcan
Strip sheets off bed
Remake bed independently
Carry Dishes to sink: scrape into trash and put in sink
Wash plastic dishes
Wash pots, pans, casseroles
Put clean dishes away
Set the table according to form
Prepare simple meals not requiring cooking
Knife safety starting with butter knife
Learn safe use of appliances: microwave, oven, stove, food processor, blender
Assist with healthy, balanced menu planning
Assist with grocery shopping
Prepare full meals for family
Collect trash and replace trashcan liners
Take trash out to garbage cans
Take garbage cans to dumpster
Hang own towel after bath
Take dirty clothes to hamper
Health and Hygiene
Blow nose and throw tissue away
Potty, flush, and wipe independently
Wash body in tub
Run water to correct temperature, fill tub, and turn water off
Wash and rinse own hair
Trim finger and toe nails
Keep divided piggy bank: tithe (10%), save (40%), spend (50%)
Use piggy bank for allowances, monetary gifts, and extra money earned
Remember to bring tithe to church
Track money in and out in small 3 subject notebook
Have own checking account
Have credit card for emergencies
Time & Life Management
Learn own address and phone
Learn phone manners
Learn to take a message
Get ready the night before (pack snack, lay out clothes, assemble bag or gear)
Read CalendarUse calendar to anticipate and prepare for activities