Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We took the day off today.  Our regular schedule was put on hold, we lingered in our pjs, we rested.  I am finding it needed more and more in our school schedule, rigor is good, but rest in good too.  I love that I can declare it, any day, and we can do other things.

Other things this week meant making cookies for the neighbors, reading Christmas stories, playing board games, singing Christmas Carols, and all the while reflecting on the season of waiting, of receiving gifts, of giving love.

As I type, the children are playing a Christmas word puzzle, and murmuring to one another, giggling, and agreeing together as they map out solutions to their game.

Some days I am amazed at the fruit of following hard after Christ.

As a homemaker, I must clean and pick up daily, washing dishes until my hands dry up, my laundry pile is a constant mountain to be chipped away.  As a wife, my husband needs a listening ear, a sympathetic thought toward his hard day's work, a belief in all he is and is becoming, while taking care of his meals, clothes, children, and keeping the home a refuge.

As a mother, warmth must be found in my smile and hopeful heart, the children must be seen as gifts to be given great swaths of space in our lives, every night includes an hour of cuddles, question answering, and stories.  As the chief child trainer, every argument must be walked through, every meal must include many hands in the preparation, every bad attitude must be reoriented, sleep must be given, stable home life must be provided, kindness must be encouraged, each child's character must be molded.  As a home schooling mom, every day I wake to questions about the day's math problems and must search out a good poem to memorize, I must continue to pursue good things to add to their day, to find positive experiences, and God's goodness must be reflected in a day's lessons.

It is a lot of hard work, but it is all worth it.

On this day of quiet reflection and rest, of taking the day off, I see so much that God is doing in the mix.  The soft murmurs of my children as they peacefully play with one another, says it all.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mind Matters

When a mild slope of depression threatened to submerge me into a state of low affect, I called out to God,  even as I didn't want to.  And he heard my prayer.

His sweet voice beckoned me back, with this simple word, "expectations".  I kept hearing it as I prayed quietly in my slippery state of sadness.  Here was God inviting me to see what he saw so clearly.  So, I bravely took a look.  What expectations?

Well, this little princess discovered, my expectations.  Boy, was I sheepish as I found a lot of them.

Apparently, moving closer to family, driving for every holiday or birthday, being in a home with trees and lush greenery, and having this here on earth, was an expectation of mine.  Even though my husband and I had eight years ago decided these dreams would not be mine, I hadn't really let them go.  Here they were drowning me.

So, when bright city lights beaconed through my home, when two am tow trucks woke me from my sleep, when family had to pay a small fortune just to spend a holiday with me, I grew bitter.  When the children asked for a tree to climb, when vacations included a beautiful setting that reminded me of my longing for a pretty home, and when my "family" became friends whose life turns had kept them from their relations, I grew sad.

But it was all in my mind.  It was all in my expectations.  Why had my expectations grown so exact and when was I going to let go of them?

Now, it turns out.  Thanksgiving week, actually.  I laid it all out on the table, with God, and my husband. As I prayed and conversed, the obvious became reality: I had to let God's reign rule in my mind.  I had to give up the thoughts I was letting rustle around in there, the expectations of having a comfortable little life near family and in the great outdoors.  I had to embrace realities that did not match my expectations, and call them good.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

May your Advent season, the season of expectations, be filled, as mine has most recently, with the thoughts and mind of God.  May you find in it, rest for your weary souls and joy brightening your darkest nights.