Friday, October 15, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

How often I enter rooms to see little hidden displays like this one...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Kind of Year are You Having?

Do your years seem to shape themselves into themes? Or is this just a weird thing about me?

2008 was a big crafting year for me. I learned to sew basic garments over the summer (we're talking pajama pants here!) and I started the knitting love affair that fall.

2009 was the year of big food changes. We worked to buy and eat only real food and I learned a LOT about making food from scratch. Let me tell you- after growing up in a "microwave it!" household, it was quite the learning curve! But by last fall I felt like I'd really gotten a handle on our new way of eating and how to think about food in a completely different way.

2010 has been a strange year. In a way there has been a lot of "survival" going on here. A lot of "when Brian finishes school we'll do this" and some "if we can just make it through 2 more weeks we can take care of that" and after a long season of holding on by the seat of our pants, I'm not sure what to make of the last year.

:: We did figure out what our homeschool is meant to look like for now. It's been so much fun, and now that we are going with what works it feels effortless. (And now that I just wrote that, I'm sure I jinxed something.)

:: I figured out that I get too focused on all the things I "should" do or be, but the truth is I have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else and I have to prioritize. We make time for the things we want and need to do, but my "want to do" list was far longer than my "need to do" list. I think I've finally learned that sometimes it's good to finish up that needs list and let the rest of the stuff go for a few days.

::  I have been working too much this year, and I'm trying to find an agreeable yet reasonable solution to that problem.

:: This has been a year where I have had to really carve out quiet and peace. Writing here, knitting, getting up before Ezra's little feet hit the ground to spend the early light in prayer... These things have all been part of an attempt to create a tiny sanctuary for myself in the midst of the constant change this year has brought. It has helped me through the loneliness during Brian's unexpected travel and the long hours that he spent in class last spring, it helps through the work troubles, the schedule changes, the constant push and pull of life.

:: Most of all, this has been a year of great failure and great grace. Praise God for His abundant mercies and the measure of grace He places on us precisely when we need it. My husband and I sincerely believe that He has provided us with the perfect amounts of grace through this year, and we trust that He will continue His work in us through the current job situation. There is work for the next few weeks at least, and for now that is enough.

Has your year seemed to follow a theme? Share in comments!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Choosing to See

It wasn't long ago that big changes were made in this house.

It was born out of the decision to choose to see truth, to ignore the thoughts of "not good enough", "never measure up" and the most difficult to conquer: "you should give up".

The change here is mostly me. I was the one believing the lies that my work was for nothing, that my words were missed, that my prayers meant little.This quiet girl follows a necessarily busy schedule in this season of life, and often that schedule bleeds into the bits of solitude meant to lift me up when I'm overwhelmed.

Suddenly that weariness doesn't seem to matter any more. Just a few days after I finally began to choose God's promises over lies, I was humbled to see a 4 year journey of prayer over one soul finally come to it's hoped for conclusion. A soul pulled close to God, changed to new life.

I had begun to wonder if that could still happened- if someone could truly change after so many years apart from God and His word. And I wondered . . . perhaps he was unable to hear God's whispers to his heart because I had yet to fully submit myself to the whispers God had poured into my heart. After all, prayer means little when it is only habit and not born out of fervency.

Now I pray God's promises: 

Though I sin I am forgiven again and again.

Though life is sometimes a struggle, God has a purpose.

God finishes the work He begins in us.

And I live with those truths written on cards in my purse, on the clipboard I carry through each lesson I teach, on the wall in our little school room, next to my alarm clock before I fall asleep. God works truth into my heart and opens my eyes a bit at a time to the abundant grace He grants us each day.

In the midst of undone laundry, spilled milk, and a tight schedule He gives progress, smiles, light . . . and sometimes a calling.

This time I said yes.

Ann Voskamp invites us to consider *having eyes that truly see* this week. For more posts on this topic, visit Holy Experience:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Handmade Days: Winter Prep Edition

All my handmades lately have been going toward winter wear- two boys in desperate need of bigger mittens, new winter hats and a husband to winterize as well. And what about me? I suppose there is something in there for me as well!

The grey is a plain hat for Brian, soon to be accompanied by two others just like it (because he loses them ... ahem... ), the red (still thumbless) mittens are for Ezra  and the cream colored alpaca is for the lining. The green above is a yummy wool merino quickly being turned into mittens for Ender. The blue above is eventually going to be a scarf for myself, of course- after I take care of all my boys.

This great thing is Ezra's fish hat. He picked out the colors himself, and so far I've finished one half of the tail. After finishing the tail it's on to a few fins and eyeballs (the alive version) and he'll have his winter hat.

And these are the other two WIPs that I'm actually working on in spare moments. The blue is a sweater for Ender that I hope to finish in time for a Christmas gift and the shawl (link to part 1 of the KAL) has been coming along one little row at a time. I'm on part 4 of 5, but it's going to take me awhile to finish this up just because I have other knitting that is on a deadline of sorts, winter being around the corner and all that.

Do you have any handmades to share? Be sure to link in comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scripture Memory

Over the last few months we have begun to work on memorizing with the boys, specifically Scripture memory. Ender memorizes quite frequently on his own (which is why I can't have him use the same reader more than twice if I want him to actually read the words!) so we wanted to use that gift in an important way.

One of our inspirations for beginning scripture work is of course Scripture itself. Psalm 117:11 says, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Knowing God's word is key to learning discipline and understanding God's law.

Our desire to teach it so young has to do with Brian's grandfather, Pop.

I met Pop in 2000 when Brian and I had been engaged for about 2 months. He was a mellow gentle man with an obvious love for his family and an overwhelming love for his wife, whom we affectionately called Nanny. Watching the two of them together could make anyone believe in true lasting love.

It was just two years later that Nanny passed away after a sudden heart attack. As the family gathered to celebrate her life, it quickly became clear that something was wrong with Pop, something beyond the grief that accompanies losing your spouse of over 55 years. He refused to believe anyone who told him that his wife had gone to be with the Lord, when we took him home he was confused about why we were in the "new house" (where they had lived for over 10 years), and ultimately he became agitated and almost violent with his own sons- this gentle man who had always been so kind to everyone.

Pop was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the next few months. It became apparent that he'd been having problems for a little while, but Nanny helped to cover some of the forgetfulness and confusion so that no one in the family had really known. Her death had so shocked him that he never did come to believe that she had passed away, and the disease progressed rapidly, even with treatment. In the end he only remembered 2 things- his cousin, who was able to come to visit him frequently, and the prayers and verses he had learned as a young boy. When we went to visit, he couldn't remember my husband or father-in-law, but he remembered that God watched over him and that God loved him. He remembered the prayers and scriptures he had learned as a young boy, but those words were some of the few things that stayed with him in his final days.

We are beginning Scripture memory now with our boys so that the most important words are deep inside,

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." (Acts 16:31)

"You shall love the Lord  your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment." (Mark 12:30)

We keep our verses in a card file box and review them daily until he knows a verse well. Then that verse is assigned as an "odd" or "even" and reviewed every other day according to whether the date is odd or even. From there it becomes a weekly verse and eventually on to a monthly verse.

We work through our file cards in 5-10 minutes as an opening to our day. Ender really likes memory work, so it's nice to ease into the more structured portion of our morning with one of his favorite bits of work.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...