Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing Much

I'm in that stage of life where you feel like you are incredibly busy all the time. Where you fall into bed at night and sigh with relief. Where the calendar fills up faster than you can imagine. And then it happens. Someone asks THE question, "So what have you been up to?" I find myself forever answering, "Oh nothing much, how about you?" It's not that I don't care to open up or that I don't have a To Do list a mile long or cares on my mind that I could share. It's just that I'm living life. Some people might call it the day in and day out of living. You know, up at 7am for time with God, 7:30 breakfast, 8am starts the routine of violin, reading, math, history, grammar, spelling, science, geography...admit it, you're getting bored just reading a partial list. Late afternoon is mowing, cleaning, laundry, or paying bills. Then there is supper to be made, little guys to be bathed, books to be read, silly songs to be sung and sword fights to be won. In between, there are jokes to be laughed at and hearts and minds to be molded.

I have a very full life, but not what most would consider exciting. Or at least not exciting to hear about. It certainly is exciting to live it, that is if I have the right perspective. You see we tend to put so much value on going and doing and being that we can foolishly look outside the windows of our lives and think contentment lies out there somewhere. We don't see the ministry to be had in our own back yard or even in the next room, for all the sighs and longings of go over there and do that. We practically trip over the basin and the towel with which to serve our families or our neighbors, on our way to the couch because we're just so tired and depressed over the "meaningless" to do list that never seems to end.

When I finally understood that it is accomplishing my to do list that teaches my children constancy. It is dusting the furniture and washing the clothes that pulls me outside of myself.
It is checking the mail for an elderly neighbor that keeps me aware of the hurting and the lonely in this world. When I see the reality in all the "mundane" things in my life, it gives them meaning. It gives me purpose. It draws me outside of my natural tendency to "fulfill the desires of my flesh" by running from one thing to another in a never ending search for joy, peace, and contentment. And most importantly, it is being faithful in the "small things" that is pleasing to my Father.

So the next time you ask me how I'm doing, I promise I won't subject you to the list on my calender. I'll probably just say something like, "Oh, I'm just busy living life." But I'm going to keep reminding myself of reality. I'm cleaning my house to serve my family , I'm educating my boys to make them sharp tools for God to use as He sees fit, I'm looking for the lonely and hurting in my sphere of influence that I can give a cup of cold water in Jesus' name.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Week of School

Well, we've almost made it. It's 2:45pm on Thursday and our first week of school is almost under our belts. Tomorrow should be a lighter day, not necessarily shorter since we have some "fun" projects to do. It's been a good productive week. I've sworn off Facebook for the time being and rarely touch my computer during school hours, what a difference that has made for us all. Now before you start feeling convicted and comparing yourself, let me explain. I'm not trying to sound like Super Mom. The fact is, I was giving too much of my time to the "cyber world" and too little time to my kiddos. So I've cut myself off, until I can re-establish my priorities and remember that being my boy's mom and teacher is my profession. Just as I wouldn't be a good employee if I spent my working hours cruising social sites, I'm not able to be a good educator cruising social sites either. So you see? You are a better mom, employee, or whatever than I am! Give yourself a pat on the back and keep reading guilt free. :)

Micah started violin this year, and boy was he pumped. Micah has a very bright mind, but a very wiggly body, so we waited until he was a bit older than his brother was when he started violin. The result is, he is SO ready to play the violin. Now if he could just convince his hand to hold the bow and his chin to hold the violin. :) Micah is also growing morally. Boy this has been a journey for his Daddy and I. The questions this boy can ask!! We find ourselves ever more in need of wisdom from our own Father. I may blog later on this journey, but in the meantime, if you think of us, we'd sure appreciate your prayers. We are joyful at the growth Micah is showing. Just a year or so ago, I worried that we would never "have his heart". He was so VERY strong Willed. Don't get me wrong, he's still Micah, Will and all, but it seems he is surrendering that Will and allowing us & Jesus to shape it.

Josiah is growing up so fast. He has completely lost the "baby boy" look. It's bittersweet to see my babies growing. Josiah is also facing a new phase of self discovery. It's human nature to put the best spin possible on our actions. As parent's it is our job to question our little ones on this tendency. Once again, Matt and I find ourselves seeking our Father's wisdom on knowing how to "read the hearts" of our boys. On a very simple level we are trying to help Josiah with this. To put the best spin possible, whether it be to get out of trouble, or get what we want is deception. Often times we shape a person's opinion by only sharing the information that best serves our cause. Never really lying, but deceiving none-the-less. The real danger in all this, is that we actually start to believe the lies ourselves. And dear reader, if we take but a moment to see where the road that self deception leads the "cuteness" of manipulation is gone in a flash.

I confess it has only been in the last 10 - 15 years that I've learned to really honestly see the workings of my heart and the thoughts and motivations that drive my actions. Actually, I'm still in the process of asking God to search me and show me. I believe this is a life-long pursuit. Even still, an awareness that my actions and words represent my values, changes the way I live and think right now. It keeps me honest about why I'm feeling what I'm feeling and why I am doing what I am doing. As I've told Josiah, "We are in this journey together, Mommy is still learning too."
And speaking of learning, that brings us full circle back to our first week of school. It has been good. Sure we are all learning more about history, science, math and literature, but more importantly we are learning to be more like Jesus everyday.