Friday, June 9, 2017

The Next Thing

From an old English parsonage, down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
It's quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration--"DO THE NEXT THING"

Many a question, many of fear,
Many a doubt, ath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrow, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, "DO THE NEXT THING"

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His Hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resultings, "DO THE NEXT THING"

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Stron in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee, "DO THE NEXT THING."

     No one knows who wrote this well known poem, but it's words have been resonating throughtout my scattered brain this morning, as I seek guidance from Our Father for what needs to get done.  When life gets crazy, and it seems to never end, sometimes it's all you can do to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving the direction God has called you, even if that movement is a shuffle-step.  So what does this look like for our little(ish) crew?

     Well, for starters we moved 645 miles away from almost everything ours kids knew, and where two of them were born, back to hubby and my's homestate.  When we first arrived it was a mad dash to unpack all the boxes just to get them out of the way; after the dust settled we did a better job of organizing, while finishing off last year's school year.  Who knew we had so much stuff!!  Two months later the teenager is still adjusting, but we have found an excellent youth group based in the truth of God's Word for him to be invovled in.  Otherwise it's been a very smooth transition!  It helps to have family nearby :)

     Also, in about 6-8 weeks we will have a new baby brother to dote on!  We are beyond happy and excited, but it hasn't helped my scattered brain!!  Right now the next thing is to start a list of what will need to get done in the next few weeks so I can keep it from bouncing around in my head and onto paper!  My oldest daughter has been letting everyone she encounters know that she gets to be there when he's born; it warms my heart to know how much this means to her!

     Finally, we are starting a new curriculum for this school year-which we will start super early (next week) so we have plenty of margin to enjoy the new baby.  We're going to begin using Ambleside Online, which uses the ideals and practices of early 20th century educator Charlotte Mason.  Charlotte Mason (or CM) ideals have been near and dear to my heart since we first began this homeschool journey seven years ago, but I had it on the backburner during our time in Texas.  I'm so grateful to have my passion renewed as I've taken back my time from that which was distracting me (looking at you facebook) and I'm excited to start this new journey! I'll share more about how I've been planning and what that looks like later on. :D

Our new backyard viw

Monday, November 28, 2016

Just keep breathing

Unless you live under a rock, you know about a little blue tang fish named Dory and her famous saying, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming."  As I found myself approaching hysterical panic the other day, I starting repeating my own version of Dory's little ditty, "just keep breathing, just keep breathing, breathing, breathing."  Parenting, marriage, homeschooling, life, is hard enough as it is.  But add a dash of holiday crazy, and this momma might go a little crazy!

There is the house to clean, food to cook, kids to motivate to help (many times unwillingly), activities to get ready for, arguments to break up, things to buy (cue hyperventilating).  Plus maintaining our home, feeding the masses (aka. my family) so that they don't become an unruly mob.  Laundry (it breeds!), dishes, why so many dishes?!?  On top of making the time to truly connect with my husband, disciple our children, and maybe, just maybe, shower (gasp!).

If you find me in a corner rocking and crying, just throw me some chocolate please.

But God
Just keep breathing.  Trust in the Lord.  I know it's hard when, at times like this especially, all you can see is your to-dos.  When everyone seems to want a piece of you.  But God.  Take it one step at a time.  Make a list of everything you want to get done, that way it's not stuck inside your head, spinning like a top.  Remember that you can only do so much, ask for help.  Lower your standards if that's what you need; if something nonessential is making you a little batty, chances are it's nonessential!  Give yourself some Grace!!  Look into the eyes of the ones you love and remember why you're doing this.  And more than anything, remember whose you are and Who you are doing this for.  You are a child of the Most High God and a gift to His Son Jesus, who will never ever let you go.  Beloved, He loves you, just breath.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."  John 14:27 NASB
If you feel led, leave a comment and let us know what helps you and yours get through the crazy of the holidays!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I just spent five dollars on Pokeballs

First can I just say that I never in my life thought I would spend $5 on an in-app purchase?  Never in a million years.  As a matter of fact I have zealously teased my husband when he buys more lives in his Candy Crush game.  But... I just spent five dollars on Pokeballs.

Parenting is hard, we all know that.  It's this delicate balance between feeling the need to bend willful creatures with more energy than you to your will, and giving them grace because they are just kids.  It's the never knowing if you're doing the right thing.  Let me share with you for a moment where I'm at.  My oldest will be 13 in four months, 13 ya'll, I'm not ready to be a mom of a teenager!  My second oldest will be 10 two days after that (followed two days after that with my little mimi turning 4 and almost a month to the day after that my baby will be 2, bizarre I know).  And everything I have heard about boys being easier is so, so, so true.  I love my big baby girl so very much; she is my rainbow baby.  She truly has a heart of gold and has real love for other people, compassion is great with this one.  She is also my most trying child.  My oldest, I get him, we understand each other.  He is me only with testosterone.  Her? not so much.  The Lord is definitely using her to refine me!

So what does that look like, the refining?  It looks like spending five dollars on Pokeballs.  I am learning to let go of my pride, what I think is right, and learning a new way.  It looks like laying bare the soul to other human beings and (gasp!) actually admitting how hard things have been.  It looks like praying for a soft heart, a tender heart, even if it hurts.  And it will, because when you pray that prayer, God answers, and life hurts.  But the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard you; it will give you the still peace in the eye of the storm.  It will allow you to see past the hurt to see the tender shoot underneath.  The tender shoot of that child's heart, the woman's heart beside you, the heart of a man doing his very best.

Have a blessed day ya'll; love the ones placed in your life with a sacrificial love that releases pride.