Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Praying for Direction

I am praying for direction for the 2010 winter months of January through March.

What should our day’s routine look like?

How much technology should we use these months?

How much dedication to outdoor exercise will we show when the rains don’t stop?

What character issues should be prayed over, worked out, influenced?

What should our learning schedule be? How much time should be given to teaching for the fifth grade test?

What areas am I lacking in discipline that I may not even be aware of, discipline of routine, not to be confused with discipline of punishments.

How can I arrange my day and my heart to serve my husband more?

What can I do in the winter months to improve the gardens that I’ve been given on our property?

The largest looming question is – Good News Club. Should we do this? It doesn’t not feel like it is in God’s timing. Is it fear? Is it out of my comfort zone? Was my heart ready to say that we would take a year off break, and now the opportunity arrives to get involved? Is it selfish to take the winter off to grip up with being a mom? I think just even now praying about it, I know the answer is no, we shouldnt’ do it, with all of the time/money demands, but I hate to disappoint others.

Praying to know how to disappoint others with joy still in my heart for hearing direction . . .

Praying for direction.  Glad that He offers the path one step at a time, and we walk on it.

Pray for me? Leave an encouraging word, or a prayer request for yourself for the upcoming three months.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Transition of Seasons

Awake this morning while the dark still wraps the lake, and the twinkling of the boat house lights dance all the way around. The dawning that it is Christmas Eve fills my mind, pushing the sleep out, starting the prattle of lists, to bake, to call, to visit, to do.  I realize that we have had two 6+ hour long beach days this week, and the evidence of how much sand can attach it self to every microscopic part of everything you own weighs on me.  My feet cringe as I walk the floor, so time is spent in the sweeping, vacuum, dry mop and wet mop dance. Clean happy feet. Clean happy Floor. Happy mom.

But this morning, it wasn’t the anticipation of the World’s Greatest Clam Chowder that brought my brain to a frenzy, it was the after holiday shopping /pre christmas morning anxiety buzz. Am I the only one? We are at a place where the boys no longer need toys to entertain the long hours in the afternoon away, they are creative outdoors, with crafts, computing and gaming. Long ago are the constant days of shopping for toys. Yet, with visions of Christmas Morning, the search goes on to find objects to put under the tree.

My financial planner budget brain says we went too far, cut too much into our bill monies set aside for the first, spoiled too much, caved to commercialism.

My judgmental spirit says that we have less than any of our known friend’s piles, that if the boys had gathered with cousins and friends tomorrow, they would see and know,  and we’d feel a push to make them the same.

My thankful spirit says that we got a very nice christmas gift card from Bi-Mart, used several used sources, and that they really only have 3 new presents each.

And then, while focusing on thanksgiving and worship of a God that owns the cattle on a thousand hills – I felt the question – when will it be ok for me to give you some of these cattle to use? Will every blessing I give be seen as an awful thing to be entrusted with?  Will only the suffering of living on the financial edge bring you closer to me? You trust me for your every waking need – will you trust me with abundance? And for the first time, I really believe that we, as a family are ready.

We are ready to be trusted with more. We are ready to be trusted to learn from our financial mistakes, and learn from His financial faithfulness. We have lived now for a couple of years debt use free, and have come to the other side.

Being debt free was easy – we’ve been there several times in our life, being debt use free is a whole other object lesson. :)

So – as you gather with your friends and family today and tomorrow, my prayer for you, will be the one I ask for for myself. To enjoy the day. To know that having a thread of holiday traditions holds families together. To realize what you will pass on to your kids will not be how many boxes are under the tree, but the ebb and flow of the day.

Raise up a child in the way that he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it. SO true. Clam Chowder, Simple Christmas, Stockings, Small family gatherings, quiet evening, simple Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas – and thanks for listening every once in a while. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Transparent

trans- + par─ôre to show oneself

Transparent. Known. Understood.  Seen Clearly.

The Fear of the Unknown  - Over come.

Hiding Nothing.

Telling every moment? Every Project? Every Thought? Every breakdown? Every Photo? Every Success? Every Failure?   - No.

But telling enough of the journey, that I trust you will have a picture of our lives. This misunderstood thing of teaching at home, unschooling. A little like 31 flavors to answer questions posed throughout the day of why and how of homeschool. If you are looking for how we school at home, you may not find it here.

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Transparency – Truth. Maybe it is why I am obsessed with Agates. The largest ones have been sunk in the sand. Covered during times of the easy summer, uprooted and sparkling during and after the winter storm. Rough starts, sometimes traveling great distances, to be sanded into a gem on the shore, after years of crashing against the waves against the grit of sand. Not all will be perfectly shined, some have craters, some with the rock of the geode still on, some sugared. All, each and everyone different, yet beautiful. When wet, glimmering, when held to the light, brilliant. 

My goal, is to be held to the light, that His glory will shine through, and you will see Christ in us.

Do you Plan for Joy?

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This morning in my Proverbs reading of Chapter 12, I paused when reading verse 20. 

I hear the question often, “How do you have joy?”. The comment, “I need to find Joy in this hard circumstance.”  Proverbs 12:20, in the last part says, “Those who plan for peace have Joy.”  I looked it up in other translations and found a running word group of of Planned, Counsel, Advice, Purpose, Promote.  Not just in the Holiday Gatherings of winter, when we come together with family members of different beliefs and ways they run their homes, but throughout the year – are you planning to promote peace?

I must confess that when I know a hard circumstance is coming my way, at times, I find myself planning for adversity, planning to get through it, planning a retort maybe. I know through experience though, that when we come together as a family, the four of us, and communicate our expectations and what we need to do to pursue peace, and find joy, that we find it.

On a simpler level – a daily level – what are you doing in your day, that refreshes you and fills you up – so that you have a measure of peace to counsel? I admit to not reading my Word as daily as I should. Recently I’ve had several comments in FB,Blog, Photos of how they would love to live where I do on the Lake and have picked spots that they would love to do their daily devotions.  I justify, and say that I live a life of prayer, and thankfulness and training with the boys.  But this morning, I purposed to start my day in the word, and already I am more focused on peace for it. More focused on Him.   I find that my walks are the time that I have all to myself, the boys run off discovering, the dog investigates every moving thing – and I can see God’s creation and know how He created me, and trust in his All Knowing All Seeing, All of Control ways, and trust. It is where I find peace. 

This shot was taken during a dog walk in Central Oregon. A storm was coming, and we went to walk the dog before we couldn’t get out for a while. The views were amazing, the walk refreshing, our bodies invigorated.  Walking in the Word before a storm does the same thing for me.

No storms in my life anticipated that I know of – but who out there isn’t seeking how to have Joy every day? Maybe we should be as active at finding Peace. :)

If Only I Would!

Had that moment? In the car? At the store? The kids do that thing they do that you’ve told them 100 times not to do? But then, gasp, they DO?? And you snap? Dismissively. You see the look from the youngest. And some days, you even snap at that look, let them know they deserve it, cause they keep doing what you said not to do, and they know the consequence, which justifies your snapping at them. 

Oh. Its just me? I’m the only one? I’m very very quick to apologize, feel sorry for myself for snapping.  But I just read this post: Advice from Winnie the Pooh.  I’ll not tell you what she said – you’ll have to hear in her words – but I’m inspired. I have a new phrase to hold in my heart for the next time that we are out and about over tired, under fed, and on the edge of snap. . . .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Emotional Eating?

Rain

The tears have been dry since moving. I have felt anguish, but not tears. In September there was too much to do with too little time to give way to emotions. I needed the joy of knowing I still had precious time with people that, quite possibly, I may never see again. I wanted to have last moments together to cherish. We had so little time – find, pack, move, and assemble a new home. We wanted to find the joy for the boys in knowing that this was God’s plan, we are obedient servants, ready at a moments notice for change. Embrace all that the new place had for us.  Yes, there were a couple of times that I found myself alone, boys with their dad, that I remembered, I could cry unashamedly right now, really let the pent up emotions out . . .and at that time, utter exhaustion kept them in.

We are surrounded by beauty, discovery and wonder. Triumphs at work and in in learning. Growth in our character and areas of academia. Getting to know local shop owners, people who work at the markets, where to get a good cup of joe, local beaches, the most amazing used books store ever (seriously, its like Amazon in physical form)  - and yet, we havn’t met one personal friend.

We’ve gathered with a group on Weds nights, potluck and Bible study – but no children – no currently with kids at home moms.  We’ve met wonderful people, but no connection. No kids. I can go days with Darren being the only adult I get to speak to. It has had its wonderfulness, but I wonder and pray for a friend, if not for me, at least for the boys. But we pull the boot straps up – and head to the beach with the dog, happy that we are our own best friends – I mean really – a family who REALLY loves each other, who’s to complain right?

But this morning – we visited a church that advertised youth groups and children’s church on Weds nights.  A list of the oddities of visiting churches is a whole different post, but today – it was about not being seen. Not being anticipated. Seeing all the kids and families, joyful, but not seeing us. Almost as if we were on the other side of a glass partition. They played my favorite carols. The tears came on. Little ones at first. little leaky drips. The kids did a great corny job at the play – and the valve got turned on a bit more. Pulling out the paper napkin to catch the drips.  Seeing the faces of friends gone by in the faces of those before me. A bit excited that I could see me here – and yet mad at myself for these crazy water works. I had almost turned them off, when I got a text telling me of the children’s program at a church in Bend. Yikes. Time to go to the bathroom and splash some water on my face. The more I tried to turn it off, the worse it got, and when the service was over, it was a slow dash to the car. We drove to the beach, cold rain, fog, wind, and no coats. Leashed up the dog for a mile walk, time to shake it off and talk with a friend. The sound of her voice was the final straw, and all of the emotion that had been locked up came out, and huge gushes of crying pursued.

So back to my original thought – Emotional Eating.  I’ve read about it, watched shows on it. That’s not me. I don’t rush to the fridge at every whim of emotion.  But today, oh the craving for Lindt & Sprungli Milk Chocolate, Tacos, Milkshakes, Caramel Macchiato.  Maybe the reason I’ve not known myself to be an emotional eater is that I’m VERY seldom this raw sad upset. Who Knew? Sigh. Missing my friends, watching the rain outside to match my wind swept emotions.

Go find a person who is alone for the holidays and invite them to lunch.

Posting not for an ad to be a stay at home mom with a husband who frequently gets transferred, but as a raw transparent view, so you know you’re not the only one. :)