Friday, January 7, 2011

Seeing the Value in Our Days

I often remind myself of the saying, "the days are long but the years are short."  It makes my heart sad each time I think of how quickly my little ones are slipping into new stages of life that will surely usher them upward and onward from our home.   We have four children and have been in the trenches with little ones for a while.  As the older children come into their own, the battles seem to turn a different shade of interesting.  Honestly, I can't say that no one ever told me this would happen.  I just didn't predict that it would look like this. 

Most of our days are filled with the monotony of homeschooling, sports activities, and keeping the home in good running/operating order.  And that fills our days completely.  Homeschooling presents its own unique set of challenges but many are similar to our other-school counterparts.  Our boys would rather be outdoors on nature hikes or playing ball.  Girls have "other things" they would rather be doing.  Nothing I can offer will even solicit a second glance were it not for the consequences of retaining their current grade level for another year. 

Those other things that our children have to do often seem unimportant to me.  Silly, even.  Now, I do know that play IS the work of children.  But my mind doesn't immediately acknowledge the fruit of that labor most days.  It is helpful for me to be reminded fairly regularly that there is value in those parts of our day, too.   Nature hikes (and other challenges) give the boys the hill they need to climb to be an overcomer.  They need to stand on the top and look out over what they've conquered.  The sword battles they fight teach them to protect the ladies and  'least of these', and to get back up again.  The Hotwheels races-I'm not sure what they do, but I'm sure it's important. 

The girls learn to bring beautiful smile and heart in their dressing up and playing in makeup and doing hair.  The music time, well they learn to sing a new song to Him-and someone in particular does it with boldness!  Even the occasional email session can be used to arrange fellowship and hospitality times that are refreshing to their hearts. 

The notebooks and test scores are necessary, even good.  But the true value in our days runs much deeper than the recited words and calculated numbers we produce as "evidence" of our successful days.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baby Steps - A Lesson From the Flylady

It's the Flylady's mantra.  I believe it might be on nearly every page of her website.  It's probably on every single email that comes flooding into the inbox.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.  When I first discovered her website and method, I was not only on the wagon, I drove it.  It made me feel sooo in control.  (I'm sure that's a problem)  I didn't regularly get behind on anything, as can happen these days.  Most areas of our home stayed in  company-ready-in-15-minutes condition. It made soo much sense.  If you're on top of things, they don't get bad enough to get you all worked up and then you find yourself on a cleaning frenzy (and therefore, neglect other areas as well).  These days, I have a somewhat blended method of homekeeping that allows for more, shall we say, balance.  But that binder is  not what this post is about.  The Flylady is on to something when she gets on those fits.  It works so much better my heart than it does in my home. 

Yes,  you read that right.  I am enjoying the day having had that thought streaming across the eyes of my heart again and again.  If we get things done as the junk begins to seep in, we won't be as likely to find ourselves in an all-out conniption. A little pride here, a  little selfishness there, bitterness is always looking for a corner to sink into.  But, if we keep it cleaned up in baby steps and leave no area untouched, we keep our hearts constantly hospitable to the Holy Spirit. When there's even a splinter of unforgiveness, greed or vanity hanging around in there, the Holy Spirit is quenched in my heart.

 My husband and I heard a teaching on the principle of short accounts a while back.  We began using it to keep check on anything that might be said or unsaid between us.  Just the daily (actually many times each day) looking into each other's eyes, even if we're busy, and asking, "Are we OK?".  Now that is probably annoying to some, but we know what the other one means by the phrase.  We are conveying that we want to always be willing to hear an issue that may come up in the other's heart that might need some "housekeeping."   Usually if nothing's amiss, a smile comes to our faces.  But if the other one looks down or away, or tries to busy themselves, there needs to be some quality heart-to-heart ministry time.  Those times are wonderful!  Think of the smell of lavender in a freshly cleaned home with the breeze blowing in.....the accomplishment--of a clean heart.

New Year, New Name!

My blog has a new name this year!  I thought it just as well....the old name was kinda...old. Not  that we aren't getting older...but it was just time to change.  If you would like to know where the name came from, click on over to this post and it'll make perfect sense. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I discovered I'm a Tuesday kind of girl. I've always been a Monday girl. I love, love the freshness of a new week. It's the perfect day to start. To start everything. Fresh. New. A whole week ahead just waiting for Monday to plan it all out and make it happen. The whole week rides on the Mondays. Or they did. My calendar (a fresh, new on in January, no less) , school, exercise re-starts, diets, good habits, bad habits, new ventures, even my relationship with God. But today, God met me fresh and new on a …….Tuesday. I'm always trying to get myself together in order to put my foot out into the waters of something new. Don't get me wrong, God is not new to me. I've been saved a whole lotta years. Not all of them held evidence that I was saved, but I am thankful for the Grace that covers that. So, today is Tuesday. God was there when I hit snooze on the alarm. He opened my eyes first thing to the idea that Tuesdays are just as important as Mondays. He convinced me that I could begin Bible study anew with my children on a –Tuesday. I could start reading aloud to my children at bedtime on a Tuesday. Yes, Mondays have the "new car feel" to them. But Tuesdays require His mercy to cover what we flopped at when our best laid Monday totally flops. The momentum and energy of Monday is flushed out by the exasperation of another hum-drum week of feeling like nothing gets accomplished. These are the days that we have to call out to Him for patience, rely on His mercy to cover our heart-attitude, plead that the Blood cover the frustration and pride that showed up just as soon as the rest of the crew got up and busy and my own plan is shoved to the side. Yes, Tuesday, we realize the week is no longer ours to hold, to plan, to keep. We have to give it back to Him. We hold our fallen Monday in the palm of our hand and offer it back to Him, a pitiful offering, at best. Our finely crafted plans for the week lay in the dust and rubble of our pride. But, take heart, Tuesdays can be the most triumphant day of the week, by far!! They are victorious! It is on Tuesday that our burdens are no longer our own. We don't have to hope and have faith in our own plans and wonder if it's enough to make it happen. On Tuesday, it is sure to happen. It's guaranteed. Tuesdays carry the pride of being able to walk upright, with the confidence that He's got your back (or your week). There's no appointment that He's too busy to see you through. The schedule, well, He made it and He gave you the job, too. He wrote the handbook to your children AND your spouse. There's a good reason God made Tuesdays—and He's good enough to offer them to us.
I hope that you find yourself having a Tuesdayonce in a while!

I linked this post with Courtney over at Women Living Well