Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Is there anything

quite so beautiful as fall trees dappled with late afternoon golden sunlight?

quite so yummy as the first sip of coffee in the morning?

quite so sweet as a snuggly, drowsy child?

quite so good as a book that grabs hold of you and refuses to let go?

quite so amazing as a God who created by simply speaking words?  I mean really intricate, detailed stuff.  I struggle to create with tools that are made especially for the task at hand, He started with nothing and made everything.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Yesterday was one of those days.  You know the ones where you have such high hopes and then by bed time you are counting down the minutes until you and your household can just crawl in bed, forget it happened, rejoice in the fact that you survived it and hope for a better tomorrow.  These are usually the nights that the guilt eats at me, the tears will fall, and I will feel like the BIGGEST failure this side of the Mississippi. 

Simply because I know better. 

I know how I should respond, how I should handle the moments of my day and what mothering should look like.  I have read the blogs and the books that teach what a mom should look like.  I also know deep down who God has called me to be.  But yesterday, by the end of the day if I am honest I did not do any of the shoulds.  I spoke in a grumpy voice, I was impatient, I complained and nagged. 


What do you do when that happens?  What do you do when you fail to be everything you should or even a fraction of what you are capable of?  Well first of all you get a big dose of reality that you are human.  You have these ideals and these goals - and they are very good - very rich.  But the reality often times leave you feeling like a failure or a hypocrite.  However I think it is good for your soul to have those reality checks.  Good for your children and those around you too.  Because you realize, they realize that we are all dependent on God's mercy.  None of us have it all together, no matter how good of a show we put on for others.  None of us have perfect days and are good mother's all of the time.  We instead have to lean into, grasp with both hands that God's mercy is big enough to cover us when we fail. 

He is there, waiting for us.  Take your tears to Him.  Cry in His lap.  Confess to Him and to anyone else that you need to when you mess up.  Acknowledge your mistake, point out what you should have done, ask for forgiveness and then LEAVE it behind.  Don't pick it back up and stuff it in your backpack of memories.  Don't dwell on it or beat yourself up over it.  Don't let it deter you from picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and seeking God again and again and again. 

Great is His faithfulness, His mercy is new every single morning.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday

Lisa-Jo Baker Five Minute Friday


My voice is but a drip in the ocean of humanity.  Nothing I say is ever earth shattering.  My words will be long forgotten after I have taken my last breath here on earth.  By everyone except those who matter most.  My children, my husband and God.  My children, whether they like it or not, will carry bits of me into their parenting.  Therefore as I speak to them I also speak to future generations.  My husband is carried along and shaped by the words I speak to him and in the tone of voice that I speak to him in.  Simply because we spend so much time together, how I talk to him affects how he talks to others. (and the reverse is true as well) 

If knowing both of those are not enough to give me pause before I open the flood gates of my mouth, then this surely is. 

Matthew 12:36.  God doesn't forget.

And while my voice may not be earth shattering to the masses, I still need to speak with care, because even a drip can leave a lasting echo.


Friday, October 19, 2012


Lisa Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday


Sometimes when the words roll off my tongue and plop down around me, I fail to look where I am speaking. 

You know how your mom or dad always told you, be careful and look where you are going?  Especially right before you crossed the street?  Why didn't anyone warn me to be careful to look where I am speaking?  Because sometimes the careless word that escapes, sometimes it is not so careless when it lands on someone else, someone unsuspecting.  It whips and tears against them, and for the life of me I would not have spoken that if I had looked before I spoke.  If I had made eye contact.  Really saw them.  I would have seen that they were having a hard day, were sad or tired or whatever load they already shoulder is too heavy for me to say something on top of it. 

When I correct my children I am trying very hard to get in the habit of looking into their eyes as I speak.  It is SO much easier for me to not snap in anger or frustration if I am looking at them, really looking and really seeing.  Because most of the time when I take the time to look, I see their sorrow or regret shining through for their mistake.  Isn't that the entire purpose of correcting them?  For them to grasp the sorrow or regret of their action so that they will think before they do it again?  So then if they already grasp it, I do not need to speak words to make them feel even worse, no I need to teach them instead.

When I talk to my husband when he gets home or before he leaves I am trying very hard to look in his eyes.  To tell him with my actions and my words that I love him, respect him, and that he matters so very much.

Look Before I Speak is going to be my new mantra.  I have so many words all of the time tumbling around in my head.  From whom much is given, much is required.  If I have been given an abundance of words, then I have also been given the responsibility to make sure they are wisely invested.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

OK, so what now?

I had it all laid out, the day all planned.  I even wrote the list in a pretty pen color and used my best handwriting.  But then we all woke up and within the first ten minutes reality just laughed in my face and here we are.  What do I do?  We have already had one angry, one in tears and one in complete meltdown mode...TWICE and it is not even eight am.  What do I do to turn the day around? 

Well here is what I am going to do.  First of all we all sat down around the breakfast table and had a heart to heart.  You know one of those talks that says "your feelings are ok, it is ok to feel angry, sad, etc;" BUT "how you handle that is what we need to focus on."  I do not agree (personally) with telling your kid this is how you should feel about a, b, or c (like we should not get angry about that because it doesn't matter etc;).  Because they are unique, they have their own feelings and perceptions and see things WAY differently than I did as a kid or their sibling does or the kid across the street might.  And even if I, with the maturity that I have gained with thirty plus years of living see the big picture, sometimes gaining the trust of their heart is worth just listening as they pour their heart out.  Because in a few years when they are teenagers, I want them to be able to come to me and not worry that I will ridicule or criticize or try to control their feelings over a matter.  With that said, I do give try to teach them how they need to handle their anger, their sadness, their joy etc; so that it does not spill over onto those around them.  Because they might be OVER THE MOON excited and happy but running into Daddy's work in the middle of the workday screeching their joy at the top of their lungs would not be appropriate.  And we do hand out consequences for when they mess up in how they handle their feelings, but never for the feelings themselves. 

So now that the hugs have been given, the tears have dried and we have talked about what is ok and what is not, we shake it off.  I light a pretty smelling candle, we put on some praise music, we sing along and we forgive and we move on.  We pick up where we are on the schedule and pray and release the rest of the day into His hands.  Because even if it is written in pretty ink, sometimes there are bigger lessons to be learned than we anticipated.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Run Your Race

Five Minute Friday Lisa-Jo Baker


Feet pounding a rhythm on the pavement, breath coming in heavy gasps I make my way through this race called life.  I have no idea why I am always in such a hurry, because the end in the same for everyone.  Death.  That thought brings me up short.  This summer I have heard tale of several people around my age that have lost their lives unexpectedly.  Were they ready?  Even for the surprise, abrupt ending to their race, were they ready?  Would I be?  Or would I trip and fall head long into it because I am so busy looking around me or behind me?

As I ponder this thought, I realize that I wonder off my path too much.  I stop and allow myself to get distracted.  I peer back to see what everyone else is doing.  Are they running as hard, or walking lightly or maybe even skipping down this path of life?  Does it really matter?

I won't be asked for an account of how everyone else ran their race, just me.  I want to be able to say, "Sir, I ran with everything in me.  I gave it my all.  See that section there, those years you assigned me the race of stay at home mom?  Those are the years I sweat it out in private, those are the years that I poured out who I am into making them who they are.  Those are the years that I spent telling my children who You are."  But if I am so busy trying to run like someone else or match my race to theirs, I will not be able to say that.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why do I bemoan the boring days of monotony?  By the time this week is over we will have been to the pharmacy seven times and have visited the doctor/dentist office eight times since last Sunday.  I have seen enough waiting rooms to last me MONTHS.  I am ready for a boring, old, monotonous day that follows the schedule to a 't'.  Most of these appts were scheduled, but a few snuck up on us unexpectedly.  And we just found out we have to add in an orthodontist for one of our children on top of all of the other doctors we see, but what is one more on board with the five other ones that we see now?  It could be worse, I am well aware of that, its just that after having weeks piled with appts, I am more conscious of the gift of quiet, the gift of monotony and the gift of boring.  I realize how silly I am to take those days, the days of scheduled activities and school assignments, for granted. 

Friday, October 5, 2012


Lisa-Jo Baker Five Minute Friday
Does sitting here staring at your screen for five minutes use up all of the five minutes to write?  Because if so then I am over the limit already when I typed the first word.  *sigh*  I am working on another writing project, so I am dry.  I have no words to really say anything beyond the generic rambling I am so good at.  So I thought I would do a welcome to our day post.  (feel free to skip :) )

Welcome to our home, our life.  We typically get up around 6:30 or 7:00.  Usually I am waking up to my kids, not for them (Inspired to Action thought).  I peak out of my lids and they are jumping up and down with barely controlled excitement to start their day.  Usually I will hear, "Momma hurry we can have special time before anybody else wakes up."  Within ten minutes of the first one awake the entire house is up.  Dog included. 
Oops which reminds me I need to go feed him.  Pausing the post.  OK Tanner was definitely happy to see me :). 

So our school day officially starts at 8am.  It runs until 5pm.  And every fifteen to thirty minutes there is something scheduled. I do have chunks of time thrown in there for free time for each of my children while I am working one on one with whomever's turn it is.  We stick to this schedule most days, but on the bad days, we hunker down, hold on for the wild ride and get through it. 

We eat breakfast around eight, lunch around eleven thirty and dinner anywhere between five thirty and six thirty.  Snack is a floating thought.  We used to have "tea time and poetry" everyday, but have not gotten back into that routine this year for some reason. 

The subjects we cover are Bible, Memory, Math, History, Read Alouds, Science, Language Arts : Spalding Method Spelling, Reading and Writing (some with this program, but mostly with another), Language Lessons, and Writing with Ease.  Plus my oldest is doing Wordly Wise this year for vocabulary.  We also squeeze in music, art,  and Hebrew.  We schedule an outing every other week (plus all of the doctor visits we have).  We use Sunday afternoons for any catch up/leftovers.  Our days are full, chaotic at times, funny, and busy. 

By the time my husband gets home my children and I are ready for a break.  We eat dinner together as a family, sometimes watching a movie.  Then it is time for meds, teeth, and read alouds.  Lights out at nine, an hour or so for me, and then I fall into bed exhausted only to get up and do it the next day all over again.  If you notice I did not mention chores or cleaning...ummm yeah.  That is a problem we are trying to figure out.  I keep the dishes and the laundry up during the week, but have yet to figure out how to clean and teach and feed my family all in one day.  So if you have any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments.