Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cost of Dreadfully Busy

I once heard someone say "We do what we really want to do." It was said in relation to someone saying they couldn't. Or didn't have time. Or any other myriad of excuses.

But it's true. If you really want to do it. If it matters to you. You will find a way.

Your calendar and your checkbook generally show EXACTLY where your priorities lay. We should order our priorities so that we give our best time and effort to what matters most... (Revelation 3:20, 17).

In the past I considered it very important to read to my children every night. I've often allowed myself to become so busy and TIRED lately that I no longer do this. It makes me wonder if my two younger children will have the same love for reading that my two older ones have.

We used to do a family game night...or rather nights! Every week. Just silly time to play games. And the lessons learned in family game nights can be VERY valuable. Learning to lose gracefully. Learning to win gracefully. Learning to enjoy what you're doing whether you win or lose...

Busyness distracts us from things that have real value.

I used to run a pretty reasonably ordered household. Not perfect by any means. And some days were more ordered than others. Most weeks though, we had a menu for dinners. And laundry was clean and dry-if not put away.

I feel like I've become so busy and so tired that these things have all taken a backseat. And so I become more tired. And harried. And dinner sneaks up on me every. single. night. Like I didn't know it was coming...again.

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Busyness produces fatigue.

When you're too busy you're too tired. Duh. (Yeah, Nathan would inform me I just said a bad word. And "whatever" is a "bad" word too!) Anyways, if you expend all of your energy running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you won't have energy for relationships. I'm not talking about physical energy....emotional and mental energy are huge. Absolutely paramount for relationships. I can carry on for quite a while with very little physical energy (sure, not performing at my best, but I can "function" and do the necessary things) but if I'm emotionally zapped...fuhgeddaboutit. There have been times that by the time my husband gets home I will think to tell him about something and when I open my mouth....I just close it again. It doesn't have to be anything significant-just relating a story or a thought I had earlier in the day...but it's just not worth the effort. Do you see the problem here? One of my top 3 relationships suffers. Because I haven't saved enough energy for it. 

So, what is the answer? I wish I knew. I wish I had all the answers. For me, something that has helped is just taking stock and realizing that while so many things are good, not all are good for US. And not all at once for sure.

  • We no longer attend every field trip through multiple homeschool groups.
  • We are not participating in co-op. It did not make this mama happy. And if mama ain't happy....
  • Sometimes we just stay home. And in our jammies.
  • Down-time is VALUABLE. Time when no one expects anything of you. 
  • Kids don't have to be entertained and drug from one activity to another. ----which is another post altogether!

I'd like to expand upon this this coming year. Remember my desire to live intentionally??  Well, this would be part of it. Time is a precious resource-in fact, for me, it's one of THE most important resources. "Quality time" is my primary love language (how I receive love, what I translate into "I am loved and valued")...more than gifts. More than being "served". More than words of affirmation. I don't want to hear that I'm awesome. ;) Those are words! Put your time where your mouth is and I'm feeling GREAT!

So, for this year we're going to see if we can streamline things a little more. Get rid of some of our "junk"!
 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Busy, Busy, Dreadfully Busy!

Veggie Tales has such a way of telling it like it is!! And they have a knack for telling Bible stories and Bible truths in a way that kids can understand and that is appropriate for kids. Now, I'm not saying that the Bible is only for grown-ups but parts of it are definitely not G-rated. I was so impressed by the King George and the Ducky movie which tells the story (roughly) of David and Bathsheba! In a kid-friendly way. Pretty amazing that the writers figured out a way to show the selfishness of King David in this particular instance in a child-appropriate way. A story of a man who had a harem of women at his disposal and yet he wanted another one. Specifically, one woman. That belonged to another man. So, he took her. In the Veggie Tales version, "King George"-who oddly resembles a cucumber-has a LOT of duckies.

King George...and his assistant-trying to explain to him that he already has a lot of duckies...
(Rubber duckies). A LOT. But there's a poor man who only has ONE very beloved duckie. (poor man! say "aaaawwwww") but King George spies this duckie as he's taking his bath--

and darn it if he's not supposed to be fighting at war with his men anyways, instead of sitting in the bathtub playing with duckies! He would not have even seen the duckie! So, he TAKES the duckie. Or rather he sends one of his servants to go get it. And, to cut to the chase....the vegetable prophet
 
(who might have been related to Nathan the prophet in the Bible) comes and tells him a parable where a rich man takes from a poor man...and "King George" gets irate! Until the veggie prophet tells him "You are that man!"...So, we get lots of lessons from that movie! And it's been years since we've seen that video...but we still remember the lessons and the catchy tunes!

Another one we remember often and sing is "Busy, busy, dreadfully busy...you've no idea what I have to do..." It's from the "Are You My Neighbor?" video. It's really the story of the Good Samaritan. But it's one of THE most applicable lessons for most of us these days.

We are so "busy" doing all of the important things we have to do that we don't have time to help someone. Or to rest. Or to just be a friend. And that's a sad time. I fall prey to it also...the busy-ness. DREADFUL busy-ness.

One of the biggest hurts of my life was experienced because a friend considered me too "needy". The funny thing is, I really wasn't. It took a long time for me to realize that. She just had too much on her plate to be a friend and I was the thing she felt like she could shove off the plate. And she "assumed" that I needed her attention every day. All day. That was HER assumption. Not the truth. One of the things I remember her saying most is "I'm responsible for...." She was always signing up for some thing or another. And while all of those things may have been important. And good. Too much is still too much.

And if you're too busy to be a friend and to have a friend....you're DREADFULLY busy. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh How I've Missed Thee

I've been absent for so long! I miss blogging. I truly do. And I could make time for it...although it seems that every time I find time to use the computer for "pleasure", the internet goes out. Or my pictures won't load from my phone....

This year I planned to live more intentionally. Less reactionary and more of making things happen (when possible)....well. Like most new year's resolutions....yeah.

So, when you fail at a New Year's Resolution, do you do that same one again?? I keep thinking I should. I think it was a super good resolution. Not too specific and no lofty "goals" to make. I kept it vague on purpose. So that it could go any direction I chose...only...it stalled out.

I think I'm going to do it again!

And blogging is going to be a part of it. I've found that as time has gone by, I've tried to make my blog look like other blogs that I've admired over the years. I need to stop that. Just like my post about comparing yourself...my blog should be my own. Individual. Me.

I started my family as a real look at my family and my thoughts. I love God. But I didn't feel called to start a ministry (hopefully my life can be a ministry at times-and if it comes through in blogging that's fine!). I love working on my home. But money is often tight nonexistent, so that's not really an option most of the time--although I'd love that! I love crafting. But time and money can keep me from crafting-besides, how many crafts do I need?? I homeschool-and I'm so glad! But I don't think I'm awesome and have some new ideas that no one else has! I'm just plugging along with my kiddos. (Although this year I'm looking to spend about half of what I spent last year on my curriculum! So, that will probably make an appearance here and there!)

So, there's the update. I want to blog with no pressure. If no one reads it...well, that will have to be ok. I need to stay true to why I started this: because I like it!!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Socializing a Lost Art?

Ironic. On many levels. I'm going to write (on a form of social media) about how social media is taking away the art of social lives. And the other irony is that many would think I don't know much about socialization since my kids are...*gasp* homeschooled!

I can't tell you how many invitations to "parties" I've received on Facebook recently. What is a party but a place people go to socialize and have fun! And now we're relegating it to the internet? I know. We're all busy.  And it's so much easier to "socialize" in our jammies. After the kids are in bed. And there's no commitment. And. and. And. But it's not a party.

I know that people are trying to run their own little businesses while carrying on with their busy lives and Facebook (etc) offer a way to be able to do that. BUT! IT'S NOT A PARTY! A party has food and conversation and friends and you meet people. You have a reason to get dressed. And be with people.

Another issue with socializing via social media (yeah, I'm on Facebook, I've been on it almost since it was available-I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, I thought it was a place to make a stick family that represented my family and have an aquarium!) is the RUDENESS. I would no sooner walk into a room where people were not invited to a party (ha! a real one) or included in a gathering and announce how much fun I had ("Oh, you weren't invited?") than I'd go to a party in my underwear (again-a real one!)...

It's so faceless and nameless and I'm aware that you are just telling how great you feel, and that's awesome. But what about the person that feels like garbage. Because they weren't included. And they might have never known and been fine with it. Until they see it announced. Just what they missed.

I have no idea if I will be leaving facebook anytime soon (so often it's where I find out what is going on in the homeschool community, etc!) but I imagine a world where manners matter. And people go to real parties. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Dangerous Game

Wanna know what one of the most dangerous games is? Dangerous for your peace of mind, your confidence? Your happiness? Your joy?

Comparisons.

Seriously. And I know this and I still fall into the trap. 

I don't know which bothers me more, when I catch myself comparing myself to others...or when I hear people comparing themselves to me. 

 

Someone will always be skinnier. Have more money. Be stronger. Have a nicer house. Be more creative. Have smarter kids *gasp*...yes, I just said that! 

Also
 

 Can you imagine if you saw what happened on the way to church between that couple that looks so perfect? They might have had a screaming match! (I mean, I hope not, but it's possible!)  I once caught myself comparing another couple to my husband and myself and how he always had his arm around his wife and my husband just doesn't really do that too often. Guess what? They're divorced! And while my marriage is not perfect...it's strong and steady. And I love my marriage! I really truly do! And I was looking at that other couple with envy. *Sigh*

That person that has an awesome car? Or a gorgeous, huge house? Maybe they are so deep in debt to have that stuff that they are barely surviving the anxiety. Or they have to work so much that they don't enjoy the real stuff in life. Time off. Family. Friends.

We only see what people choose to show us most of the time. It's only your life that you know inside and out. The good, the bad and the UGLY! 

If you're always busy comparing yourself to others and focusing on that...how can you be you? How can you even know who "you" is!? Let go of images. Let go of being someone you aren't. Let go of perfect! Be you!




Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Littlest

Wanna know what the littlest does during homeschool?

You're really glad when there's an extra little chalkboard during a spelling lesson.

You can do really fun things with a pointy finger thingy.

More pointy finger thingy fun.

Take a break to look at the Bass Pro Catalog! (In your monkey undies)

Empty washer to spin....

I want "YOU".

Still with the pointy finger thingy...
And you're reeeeeeally glad when there's somebody to play with you (brother finished his schoolwork in time to play!)
And some things that weren't pictured? throwing "frice" (rice-remember?) into the backside of our boxfan so that it flies out the other side....rawwwring like a dinosaur...doing a puzzle with numbers and saying letters...a homeschool day in the life of a homeschool family's 3 year old!

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Day!

Today we started school for the new school year-2013/2014! I'd like to say it's just because I follow the "old school" calendar for a school year (September through June) but more than that it was because we were finishing up some of last year's work-and some of it just plain didn't get finished. And it's OKAY. I used to really stress over that (you know, used to as in a month ago) but then I had several people remind me that in public school they don't always (or is it that they almost never) finish an entire book. And as I looked back on my school career I realized it was true! So, I have to be okay that there were a few unfinished lessons. We were all so done with those books!

Today, started a little rocky. I decided to take a nap yesterday. You know, "one last" nap? Only I slept too long and couldn't sleep last night. So, getting out of bed at my new self-imposed time (**gasp 7:00 am**) was not the easiest thing in the world! Then I tried to go for a run and darn it...even with my knee-brace...my knee hurt! So, I tried to come back in but the kids didn't hear my knocking so I ended up going for a walk instead. Then it started raining. Right on me! But I got to see this:

So see? If I had been let in the house and not walked in the rain I'd have missed the rainbow!

Then during first day picture taking...there was some cat poop in the yard (we don't have a cat by the way). One kid stepped in it. Yuck! (My fault! I told them where to stand.) But look at these pics?!



Pictures like that might be worth a little mess! I can hardly believe I have a 9th grader, a 7th grader, a 2nd grader and my "baby" is 3 1/2!!! (See where I got the subtitle for my Blog??)

Overall our day went pretty well despite a few poopy moments. I don't like our spelling curriculum. And of course, like any first day, there were a few awkward moments trying to figure out how a curriculum works or why I planned the work the way I did...Or when 3 kids needed my attention all at once. That's always rough. No matter where we are or what we're doing.

I can see quite a difference in Haley's work this year from last year-her writing is smoother and less painful. And her reading? OHMYGOSH. She can read. Completely! All the reading over the summer (I assigned reading from chapter books that I knew would challenge her a little bit at rest time) helped!

Nathan was so excited to get into his "frice". I try to find some things to keep him a little occupied and a favorite is the "frice" bucket. He buries little toys in it and tries to find them....he has been very anxious to get to his frice for weeks. But he had to wait til school! Unfortunately, when I find something that is super interesting to him, Haley tends to want to play it too!!!





Our classroom: (we are in need of some new chairs, a rug and a microscope! but for now, I'm just thankful to have a school room)
My class! :)

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