Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today Around Here

  • I am revisiting this post by my friend Melanie. I listened to the message itself yesterday while folding mounds of laundry. I highly recommend taking the time to listen....I can't express enough how helpful it will be too you. I especially was encouraged to have faith related to my one child who pushes me to my limit at times.
The message is called: What a Mother Can't Do Without

"Faith will make all the difference; difference in effect, fruit and pleasing of God."

"Where there is an absence of joy in mothering, there is an absence of faith."

"Turn away from the difficulties and look to the promises of God, look to the character of God, look to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For as we look to the promises, the character and the Gospel we realize that the difficulties never rise to the level of the promises of God. Then when we face difficulties our perspective and attitude has been transformed and our children are affected by this transformation."

  • Wanting to listen to The Ultimate Meaning of Womanhood by John Piper here. Not sure when I will get to it...probably when the laundry becomes a mammoth mountian again.

  • Memorizing this verse with the kids: Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

The only problem is I was the fool yesterday. :o(

  • Grateful for these guys:
Who are a source of such grace and blessing in my life.

I am also grateful for God's amazing grace and patience that never comes to an end.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Backseat Conversations

Yesterday we were out running an errand to our local meat farm. They have free range, hormone and antibiotic free beef and chicken....yummy! And it's a great price too!

As I am driving this is what I hear:

"Journey, what should I name my pet dinosaur dog?"

"How about Ottoman Turk, Bucephalus or Alexander the Great. Max would work too."

Isaac responds. "I guess I'll just call him constellation. That sounds good to me."

They really are listening to the history and science reading we do every week.
The joys of homeschooling :o)

Friday, January 16, 2009

12 Week Challenge

I had plans to hit the treadmill again Jan 1. The c-section was fully healed. I'd lost 30 pounds which contributed to becoming pregnant again with Eli. I want to continue down that road due to my battle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I hadn't created a plan outside of the exercise till I read this post at Amy's Humble Musings . It is a twelve week challenge to loose weight. So I jumped on board...it was an answer to my meander toward consistency. Amy is journaling her diet journey on her blog if your interested.

I started exercising Jan 1. My goal is to exercise 6 days a week for 20 minutes a day. I have cut out sugar except in my morning coffee (it's only a tad anyway) and bad carbs. I don't overeat. I do indulge in the odd Tim Horton's apple fritter. It didn't raise my blood sugar even when I had Gestational Diabetes with Eli, so that says something right? They are only 2 points under Weight Watchers...can you tell I am feeling guilty about my fritter addiction. Anyway, one day a week I eat what I want. Last week I didn't go over board because I wasn't craving sugar, though I must admit I am craving a brownie right now. Lucky me....tomorrow is eat what I want day and I just made brownies for company. There will be leftovers!

So far I have lost 7 pounds...one whole pound under by pre-pregnancy weight. I have made the treadmill 11 out of 14 days. It helps that I have a little chub-ster eating several hundred calories out of my body daily.

Anyone what to take the challenge?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Faith in Mothering

This morning I was greeted with great encouragement through a post by my friend Melanie at her blog Met With Perfect Pleasure. She is sharing about a message she listened to about mothering and faith. The quotes shared and her own interaction with what she heard is faith building.

A little sample:

"All our failures may ultimately be traced back to a defect of faith. The main difficulty therefore is not in our work but in ourselves; in the conflict with our own unbelief. The remedy to the difficulty is faith in the God of promises and faith in the promises of God. Difficulties heaped upon difficulties can never rise to the level of the promises of God. Unbelief looks at the difficulties. Faith regards the promise. It is faith that enlivens our work with perpetual cheerfulness."

Charles Bridges

* Where there is an absence of joy in mothering, there is an absence of faith.

The above quote really hit me between the eyes. Go on over and be encouraged. I am going to make a plan to listen to the message she is referring too....hopefully uninterrupted :o)

You may have to scroll down a bit for some reason the post is toward the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today at My House

What am I doing today?
I am sitting on the couch still in my pajama's snuggled under a blanket. This is not a typical spot for me at 12:50 pm on most days. Yesterday we had fruit smoothies for afternoon snack and every since then I haven't felt the same :0(. The kids are fine but I have been battling nausea and stomach ache since then. It is improving today but definitely not myself yet.

If you look around my house there are school books on most flat surfaces downstairs. My daughter Journey is very independent with her school work but definitely spreads out when she does school. Isaac's books are everywhere because I started school with him at the dining room table and moved to the coffee table because Eli needed to eat. I so prefer the couch when I am not feeling well....so I naturally would have made my way there. It is hard to use manipulatives on the couch though, we inevitably loose them in the cushions hence starting in the dining room. We should have put the books away when we finished but the big guys were happily playing with construction straws while Eli and I laid on the couch. No need to disturb peaceful play.

On my mind today?
The little boy I will never see grow up. Almost seven years later I still miss him all the time. Visible grief is rare these days but the internal thoughts of him are pretty regular. February 14 marks seven years since we had the dreaded ultrasound that told us he wouldn't live long outside my body. We haven't seen Valentines Day the same since.
For more on Jonah's story see Jonah Ethan and The Sovereignty Chronicles under labels on the sidebar.

What am I reading?
I just finished a book called The Killing Sea by R. Lewis. It is a youth novel about the Tsunami in December 2004. It is fiction but based on true events and people. The author was apart of the relief effort there. It was an easy read from a literary point of view but the content was overwhelming at times. I was so freshly reminded how little I have suffered in life. I have never seen natural disaster, war or epidemics. It is humbling as I read about how these people's lives were altered in ways I couldn't understand. I also thought about what I would have done with three kids if I had been in a tsunami like that......a thought better left alone.
I have moved onto Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It is an unabridged version I bought Journey for Christmas. I have never read the unabridged version. I am also reading Whiter Then Snow by Paul David Tripp (more on this in my book list to come), The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent....both more devotional books and lastly Uprooting Anger by (somebody) Jones. Sorry, too lazy to get off the couch and go get the book :o)
The kids and I just finished Dragon Boy by Dick King Smith and started Water Horse by the same author.

What am I grateful today?
The cute little chubby baby sleeping in his car seat. I have discovered if he goes to sleep in his car seat he sleeps longer....what is up with that? Today I took a drive to put him to sleep and then brought him inside. He will go to sleep for me if I put him in his bed but just not as long for some reason. I was one of those first time moms who said I would never go for a drive to get my kids to sleep. Someone should have slapped me back then!

I am also thankful for the guy (my husband) who sent me this email from work. Being so aware of my temptations he wrote:

I guess you were right about what was going on with your stomach. I am real sorry Babe! It is not fun feeling sick.
-Movies for the kids and rest as much as possible for you. Remember, as long as you love the kids and feed them then you have had a successful day!

Love you!


He also put the kids to bed last night, ran to the store and never complained even though he got no downtime and had to get up at 4:30 am to go to work.

How does the gospel apply to this day?
Even this day, which I am tempted to feel is unsuccessful is all apart of his plan. He has good things and perfect plans for us even on sick days. Embracing my limitations in light of His great grace and perfection on my behalf is worship. My limitations are His kindness to me...so that I might see Him more clearly and hold onto His provision and not my own independence. When I am weak he is strong. Let my heart cling to this truth!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Those Dreaded Dust Bunnies

Wow...this week flew by. We started back to school full steam this week. It is the first time since Eli was born last October. It has gone well but once again I find myself wanting to accomplish more. If I do all the school we would love to do then my house is a mess. If I have a clean house we do less school and I spent less time with my kids. If we eat really well, have all home cooked unprocessed food then the laundry piles up and we skip the reading aloud for the day. I think being a homeschooling mom is the most challenging job around. Between personnel issues and administrative demands it takes the cake! People who say we aren't using our minds staying at home with our kids must have never actually stayed home and educated their children. I use my brain, my body...actually it demands every part of me everyday.

In light of the demands it is easy to understand the temptation to discouragement. I can so quickly fall into the pit of overwhelmed chaos. I start rehearsing in my mind ALL the things I need to do...... and how there is no time to do them..... and how I will never get it done by myself. Not to mention serving others and the church, exercise or bargain shopping. You know what I am talking about don't you?

At this moment I have a choice. I can choose His truth, that he is the only true perfection ( so I don't have to be) or I can continue to be superwomen and loose my peace and relationships. I confess I too often make the wrong one.

This week at my homeschool group (which I love and is a ministry of my church) we listened to a message by Debra Bell on Discouragement. If you remember I went to a Homeschool Conference last April where she was speaking. This is actually a message I heard back in April but months later was much needed again.

It was so encouraging (opposite of discouragement) to hear that I will fall short and there will always be more to do then I have time for but that He is at work and ordering our days according to the big picture. This is not a license to be lazy by any means, actually it makes me more focused and determined. Not focused for my sake of accomplishment but for HIS sake.....to glorify Him and to find that joy He so clearly desires for me in the everyday. I am slowly and painfully learning that the joy doesn't come from the accomplishment but from the way I have honored and obeyed Him along the way. There will ALWAYS be more laundry, things to learn, food to prepare, stuff to reorganize but honoring Him must take precedence. One day my children will be gone. I want their memory to be about the joy, fun and God honoring that went on and not a clean tidy house. The only thing I carry with me is my relationship with God and other people....my family. This helps me walk past the three baskets of laundry that have sat in the hall for two days now. It helps me when I am feeding my kids boxed Mac and Cheese. It helps me relax and finish reading to my kids instead of getting up and vacuuming the dust bunnies I see across the room. I will get to those dreaded dust bunnies but not at the expense of my peace in God and the care of my children.

It's funny I used to plan everything. I found that I would plan beyond my ability which only caused me to sin when I didn't meet my own expectations. I am finding that if I plan the priorities and the rest will get done when it gets done. I have found to my amazement that I actually tend to get more done this way. I am more able and apt to trust God when I haven't constructed my version of how it should go. I am not discouraging planning at all but for this mama, much of the planning is about control and not trust.

Does any one else struggle with these same issues? How have you seen this change as you have grown in the Lord?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Every Single Day

I am not a big one for New Years resolutions. Though there is nothing wrong with making them, I think we should evaluate our lives and ask for the input of others on a regular basis. If we are doing that then resolutions in January aren't all that necessary.
That being said, there are a few things I am resolved to work on this year.

I first want to be slower to anger and more rich in love. If there is one place I fall off the band wagon when it comes to homeschooling is being too quick to anger. You see, when I have time frames and deadlines I can become military monster mom. Today we started back to our schooling full time for the first time since Eli was born. It went well but I am so aware of my temptations in this area.

If you have been around this blog for very long you know last year was crazy. Babies being conceived :o), ceilings crashing in, moving...again, jobs being lost and found, paychecks going MIA and baby being born....aren't you tired just remembering! You think after all that I'd be the most desperate person around but I am ever greeted with the desire to be independent and desiring to do things my own way. I need to be more dependent especially in the mundane and smaller things in life. I need to come more face to face with my inability to do anything apart from Him.

Thirdly, I want to continue to grow in eating healthier and more naturally. My desire is to grow in simple living and creating a more peaceful home for my family.

The last area is the desire to see doctrine met in the everyday. To live in light of the gospel moment by moment. The reason I started blogging was to muse about this very thing. To discuss it with others, encourage and be encouraged. I have strayed from that in many ways over the last year. The gospel is meant for the everyday and I have so much to learn in applying it to my life full of grammar, diapers, marriage, and meal making. How do I point my kids toward home and their saviour in those seemingly insignificant moments of life? How do we not let the details of life grab our attention away from whats really important? My hope is to grow in making the gospel more central to my/our lives and be transformed by it every single day.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ahhhhh... A New Year

I love cooking dinner when the kitchen is really clean or taking a shower right after the tub is scrubbed. There is something about things being fresh, clean or new. A new year feels kinda like that to me.

What's new around here....well I gave my blog a bit of a face lift. After a while I need a change. My living room is too small to change the furniture around too much so I change my blog :o). I updated my profile and lo and behold I am using my real name now . By the way, for those who didn't know, my name is Sandi (with an I).....nice to meet you. When I started blogging I was all paranoid about using my real name or the names of my kids. Not sure what changed.....maybe Mrs. M makes me feel old considering I am approaching the big 4-0. I also planned to use a picture for my avatar but I couldn't find one.....sure tells you who takes all the pictures in this family.

What else is new around here? Eli has decided to start sleeping through the night. Grateful for the sleep but he is growing up soooo fast. He has hit about 15 pounds and is the family chubby monkey. His cheeks are so cute when he smiles under all that chub.

I have also discovered in this new year that my treadmill still works :o) It's not a new years resolution....it just happens that I am fully recovered from my c-section and past the craziness of the holidays. It also helps that my 3 month old baby is letting me sleep at night. Exercise makes me feel so good!

I have some great books I plan to read this year though my list is much shorter then last year. Not sure I got through more then 4 of them from that stack. More on that later.

And as this new year rolls around I am still a sinner in need of God's great grace. A sinner grateful to be met with kind mercy in 2009. It so amazes me that Jesus died so I could live. As He draws me, I am more aware of my sin, which in turn makes me more grateful for His pardon.

Since we are using real names and I have lost my paranoia...I would like to introduce my family.

My handsome husband Aaron

My sweet 8 year old Journey

My passionate 5 year old Isaac (aka Ike)

You all know Eli John...the cutie tootie.
Don't ya just love his shirt! What you can't really see is at the top of the gray circle it says "Change Me"

Another member of our family Jonah Ethan would be six years old right now. How we miss him but not without hope.