Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Making some tough choices....

Lent.   This is a relatively new thing to our family.... we did not practice lent as I was growing up.  However, I believe that fasting is a very important thing to do and that  lent is a deliberate time of fasting and focusing on the gift of salvation that Christ gave us.  For the past couple of years each one of us in our family has given something important/something that we hold dear.  Usually, I feel God call me to give up sugar.... I have a huge sweet tooth.  However, this year I feel Him calling me to something different.... something tougher.

Computer.  Blog.  Facebook.  What!!!!  Really God?? Really??  What about all the things I learn?  All my readers??  What about all the friends I have online??  YIKES!!  As I have resisted giving up computer I realize that the computer has become a very ME, MY, I kind of thing.  I spend time on here that should/could be much better spent serving my family, playing with my kids, reading to my children,  praying, reading my bible, reaching out to others, helping at my children's school, and the list goes on.  If I'm really honest (which is a little tough to do when confronting ones own weakness) I spend WAY too much time on the computer.  The computer is a great resource for me.... I look up countless things from recipes to questions about my chickens, to growing potatoes to which president is on the US nickle.  All kinds of wonderful and interesting things to be found!!  I also have connected with some amazing Christian women and am encouraged, inspired and convicted by posts I read.  It has been a tool for growth in my life, one for which I am very grateful for.

However, on the flip side I use it to ESCAPE the mundane responsibilities of homemaking, of life.   I use it to escape the realities of real life...the parts that are not so pleasant..... like doing dishes and dealing with attitudes.  I use it to COMPARE myself, to judge my abilities... this is both good and bad.  Usually I end up falling short of all the cool things others do and have.  The computer has become a too big a part of my daily life.  Yikes!

Giving up the computer for lent will not be easy... I know that my flesh will be going through withdrawal... I will have to LEAN on Christ rather than on computer breaks.  My energy, my refueling will have to come from HIM rather than gleaned inspiration from others. 

I will miss ya all!!  But I answer to the call and am going on a computer fast.  I have done other fasts from the computer and they have been very beneficial in my life.  I always loose 'readers', but I gain much more in my heart.  When how many readers I have becomes too great a worth in my life I know it is time to re-evaluate.  So, I bid you all a LENT farewell!  Taking some time to FOCUS on our Savior and what HE wants for my life!!

Participating in lent is a growing experience.  As always, why am I surprised that when we DENY our FLESH we are able to HEAR Christ more fully??  Why does my FLESH cry out so selfishly for the ME, MY and I things??  Maybe this time I will really get it!!  My prayer is that during this no computer time my Spirit will be zoned in on hearing my savior!  That I will GROW in HIS love!!

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting myself straighted up!!

I look around and my eyes automatically head straight for the "undone" things... the basket of laundry needing folded, the games at the bottom of the stairs, the boots sitting out..... My ears prick to the whining, to the disrespectful tones.   My fleshly nature is to see and hear the negative, the undone, the frustrations.... the total opposite of how I want to be!!  It takes a deliberate effort to focus on the positive, the good, the fun, the right.   However, I know I am not alone and I know that she has also found the wonderful antidote to this heart matter.... gratitude.

CHOOSING simplicity = CHOOSING to focus on the GOOD!!  This is not automatic in my life... yet.. but as I CHOOSE this way of life it is getting easier and easier!!

This morning as I was getting myself and the kids (plus the 2 children that come for before school childcare) ready for the day my mind was at battle within my.  My silent litany on all the things I should have gotten done over the weekend, the things I need to do, the ways I'm not 'good enough', etc.  I was working myself up in a tither... why????  Why do I this to myself.  Finally, I had enough and deliberately CHOSE to change the direction in my mind and start telling myself all the good!!  There is a TON of GREAT things about the last several days and as I focused on them my heart began to relax, my mind began to have peace and my Spirit thanked me for following the way of gratitude.  Ahhh... so much better!!

So what kind of GOOD things do I have to focus on??

Thursday mornings I spend with a fantastic group of ladies as we are working our way through Elizabeth George's book A Woman's High Calling.   You all know how much I value real life friendship and this new group of ladies is a HUGE blessing in my life!!  I have been a part of a Women's Bible study for the past 4 years.... it is vital to me.  However, I felt God calling me to start a new group at my house with local ladies from my own rural area and small town.  (the group I was in before was in the "big town" about 30 minutes away)  It was hard to pull away from my previous group... such a fabulous group of women after God's own heart!  In fact it took me nearly 6 months to follow God's leading.  God's growth sometimes requires us to step out of our comfort zone!!

On Friday I spent the morning with a friend teaching her how to make bread.  We laughed, we talked, we kneaded dough!  We had a blast and we enjoyed a big cinnamon role fresh from the oven.  Another day of friendship and fun time in the kitchen... two of my favorite things!!

Friday evening my husband and our only daughter, Robyn(age 11),  joined other Dads and daughters from Robyn's Bible study group for a Daddy Daughter date night at a nice restaurant followed by a movie.  They both got all dressed up and had a great time together.  Robyn enjoyed it so much and she felt so special.  It means so much to a girl to hear her Dad tell her she is loved and beautiful and to be treated like a lady.  It fills her heart so that she doesn't need to be out looking for other guys to tell her these things!!  I am so thankful that my husband does a good job of telling her she is pretty, loved and valuable.

While Chris and Robyn were out Friday evening the boys and I ate FUN food (corn dogs and french fries), played rounds and rounds of UNO and then watched two movies.

When I start to feel the pressure of so much to do (there is always a ton to do) I CHOOSE to focus on all that I did get accomplished over the weekend:

  • Planted seeds inside by our south window in preparations for the GARDEN!!  Yippee!!  I planted peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, sage, chives, leeks and a flat of aster flowers
  • Planned menus for the next two weeks and wrote out the shopping list
  • Went shopping with my daughter... fun time... haven't been shopping with her in a few months since I normally shop while they are at school.
  • Unloaded and put away all the groceries with a bunch of help from my family.... :)
  • Finished up our new black board wall (I will write a post about that soon) and filled it with a BIRTHDAY drawing in celebration of our Ethan's 8th birthday this week.
  • Made a big batch of "Better Butter"
  • Packaged up individual baggies of things for packing school and work lunches (this makes the moring rush so much easier).
  • Made a batch of cookie bars (didn't turn out as good as I hoped, but we are not having any trouble eating them)
  • READ for several relaxing hours!!!!

I do have SO very many wonderful accomplishments to focus on and I also need to remind myself that my VALUE does not come from what I DO... It comes from WHO I am in CHRIST!!

Well... I need to get OFF the computer and start my day strong.  I have an extra special task today: baking cupcakes for our Ethan to take to school tomorrow in celebration of his birthday!  I'm also going to brown up 10 pounds of ground meat to freeze for later use (Efficient Cooking) and have a mountain of laundry to tackle.  I am CHOOSING to have a GREAT day and a day full of living out the plan and purpose God has for me.  Doing laundry, cooking and baking cupcakes are all MINISTRY work that God has given to me as wife and mother!!  Praise the Lord!!


What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Discover What your LOVE Language is.....

 Taking this 5 Love Language assessment from Gary Chapman is easy and fun!  They have one for husbands, wives, singles, teenagers and children.  My husband and I took it a couple of years ago and I learned that his love languages are NOT what I thought they were!!  Man, and after all that effort that could have been spent more wisely and effectively.....  Oh, well... any effort to show love is good, but hitting the mark with their love language is much better.  We found that we actually have the same primary love language: Words of affirmation.  Learning this has helped me focus on SPEAKING and writing  words of respect and encouragement to him.  It is also easier for me to express this love language because I know how much I love it.

Anyway, I'm going to have my 2 oldest children take the assessment..... I wonder if I have them figured out correctly!  I'm all for learning how to better love my family.

Have you taken this assessment??  What did you discover was your primary love language??

Have a BLESSED day,

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I discovered a VALUABLE resource!!

Homemakers by choice has been around for a long time..... but I just found them last week.  I have been listening to  podcasts while I work around our home.  Let me tell you I have been BLESSED.  What an incredible source of encouragement, inspiration and an occasional swift kick in the....  Folding laundry and doing dishes has been a great time for me to soak in these powerful messages.

Have you ever heard of this ministry??  If so, what is one of your favorite messages.  If they are new to you, too.... check them out and then let me know what ya think!

Have a BLESSED day,
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com