Monday, December 31, 2012

How We're Spending New Year's Eve

Bruce declared this New Year's Eve "family night" so we are all hunkered down for some Fruit Ninja on the Xbox, some computer time, some TV watching (still have 30 unwatched Hallmark movies from the holidays to watch) and some good food.

The kids started their day playing a new online game they've discovered:

Bruce started the day quarantined to the back of the house that we are lovingly calling "sick hall". He's feeling better now, but I really can't pass up an opportunity to share a great picture:

I started the day out with a few loads of laundry and inbetween I sat down to read all about onions...yes...I'm thinking gardening already

Then on to way more appetizing things:

And to wrap up the night....the best pizza in town

Can you smell all that yummy goodness?

As the year closes and another one welcomes us...I'm finding myself reflecting on the things that God has allowed our family to experience in 2012. Whether good or bad, He's always in the process of making me new...better...more like Him. I'm thankful, eternally for the work He's accomplishing and humbled by the beauty and truth that He desires to use ordinary, sinful, redeemed people to worship Him, serve Him, and draw men and women to Him. What an amazing gift to give Him when we can abandon ourselves and totally surrender to Him!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Great Clean Out

So in my effort to get life under control I've been cleaning out and purging the house. You can probably estimate the excitement that my family has felt toward this undertaking. Unlike before when I've done the massive cleaning, I started in the master bedroom. Normally I lose steam before I get there and it becomes the catch all for all things unhomed. This at times has included the vacuum cleaner, the bill file, the ironing board and other sundries. It hasn't been unusual for the entire house to be spotlessly clean with the exception of my bedroom. It's the last place that gets attention. Shame on me.

The room started out in bad shape...really bad shape. But, I decided that I would just take my time and clean out everything...the side table, under the bed, the baseboards, the windowsills, the closet! And it took me 7 hours to clean every nook and cranny. I moved furniture out and other furniture in to make the room more accommodating for us. I dusted and vacuumed and wiped down things. I threw away things and bagged up two huge bags for Goodwill.

If you're still my friend after reading about all this...thanks. I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who has a stash room or at least a closet. I took a poll of a couple of friends and they agreed...the master bedroom is the catch all place for their stuff too.

Here's pics of the after...I took before pics too...but ain't nobody got time to look at those....

After the high of sniffing all those cleaning products...or maybe it's all the Christmas flu medication, but whatever, I decided to overhaul the kids rooms too... and here's the finished product:

Savannah's room will be painted robin egg blue in the very near future. We've been searching for a bedspread we both liked..emphasis on BOTH...and found this great quilt the other day while we were shopping. I've got to order the shams online.

So, we'll see how long we can keep things neat and orderly. But for now, I'm one happy momma!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Now and Later

So, I took a very unplanned blogging hiatus over the last month. I should have seen it coming. My posts had become less and less over the last year and when I started teaching full time in September...well my goose was cooked. I never anticipated the amount of work teaching 18 first graders would be...and in the next breath I'll mention that I also didn't anticipate what a blessing they would be to me over the last four months.

I've pretty much been in survival mode and life's been living me instead of me living life - Not a mode I would recommend by the way. It just seems like between family, church, school and kid's activities there has been little to no time for me to think, process, meditate, pray, be still before the Lord. And then there was the fact that my father in law was diagnosed and died of lymphoma in just a matter of one month. It's been quite an overwhelming fall. So, as with most things in life, I've wondered exactly what God was up to, what should I be learning, what was the purpose for all this.

And it's not that I have all the answers, but God has showed me a few things that I'll be bringing into 2013.

I read and taught through Priscilla Shirer's Resolution for Women this fall. Resolution #5 I still haven't signed...mainly because I knew I couldn't or wouldn't be able to keep the resolution...

It reads: I resolve to devote the best of myself, my time, my talents to the primary roles God has entrusted me at this phase of my life. 

And after many a frustrated end of the day, feeling like I've cheated those closest to me, I've decided that 2013 is the year of my family. The family who deserves my best. The husband who deserves to be treated with the best of me instead of the half spent wife who is barely hanging on to her sanity. The kids who deserve a mother who has the energy and the time and the love to train them in the way they should go.

And all the while I hope to not intentionally cheat the others in my life that I I'll be learning to say "no" and to modify my commitments so that I can get back to the basics. And I'll be praying that I accept the grace God gives me to do this and that others will give me the grace I need to do this. And maybe...just maybe by the end of 2013, I'll be able to sign resolution #5...having made this season of family life a priority.

A couple of things I need to do to devote myself, my time, my talents to the primary roles of wife and mother that God has entrusted to me at this phase of my life are:

- become a more organized housekeeper
- cook more
- teach my children basic housekeeping chores
- begin teaching my children basic cooking skills
- be a more wise time manager
- simplify home inventory
- set up local savings account for kids
- teach my children to spend money more responsibly
- serve together with my kids
- read missionary biographies with children
- keep better record of answered prayers with family

By no means do I want my family to be my "idol". But I can't stress to you the amount of conviction on my heart when I realize how great a need there is for godliness in this world, and how little I am doing to help model and plant that godliness into the next generation. I feel great responsibility and now it's time to put action to those feelings.

This phase of life won't last forever....that's kind of the harsh reality of it all. These moments will be replaced with empty nests and college tuitions and grandchildren. And then there will be all the time for all those ministry things, those job things, those hobbies, those women's groups...all those things that I may have a moment or two for now to give a little to.....Later there will be time for those to be the priority. And later will be here before you know it!