i said yes

March 22, 2013

i am glad that i said yes.

not just with my lips, but with my heart.

admittedly, i was looking forward to my morning walk … alone with my thoughts while pushing the boys in the stroller; a “much-needed” break from the nonstop routine of cleaning-cooking-schooling-mothering at home.

as i got ready to leave, she quickly said, “i’ll come with you, mama!”

yes, sounds like a great idea. 🙂

as we walked, we talked and laughed … ideas were shared, plans discussed, ideas offered.

and i realized: i am the person closest to her, her primary influencer and her main relationship (a daunting reality i’ve been grappling with much these days) – a tremendous weight and responsibility.  when i open the door, there is a safe and beautiful space to share her heart … and for me to love and guide and disciple.

as women, we can be bombarded by our culture telling us what we need and deserve; as mama’s especially we are reminded that we deserve “me” time. and i’m certainly not downplaying the deep value in solitude; i just know that construct creates an artificial scenario that plays out in my mind (‘wait, you come on my walk?? but i want/need to get away‘).

it felt so good to embrace the moment … remembering how fleeting this time is, and how extraordinary it is to get to spend my days with this growing {fast} girl. and? how awesome that she wants to join me on a walk!

{one extra nugget of beauty: we talked about extracurricular involvements, perhaps there is a sport or activity she can participate in, now that theater has ended? her response: “i love our evenings at home together!”. ahhh. me too, my girl.}

today's walk

today’s walk

diminishing technology

May 23, 2012

it’s interesting that my access to technology has diminished significantly recently. interesting because i had been feeling some conviction about the distraction that the laptop computer presented during my days – open and ready for me to send that quick email, check facebook, read a favorite blog, do some quick research. all good things that all added up … so i’d thought about trying out having some designated times to do computer work and otherwise not go there.

well, the decision was made for me. 🙂 last week, our laptop died … which was “my” computer for the most part. our main home computer also serves as hubby’s work computer which he uses nearly round-the-clock.

and right before the laptop died, my texting capability in my cell phone died. major bummer! i confess that i love the convenience of texting; love being able to send a quick note to a friend without the angst of knowing i don’t have the time for a long convo. but alas, until we can afford a new phone (mine is a very old school model with a button that won’t depress any more to access texts) i will not be texting.  i can still hear the texts coming in but can’t read them or see who is sending. double bummer.

so, in the span of a couple weeks, i am basically computer-less and text-less. as much as i miss these things, i think this is a good season of slowing down, focusing even more on HERE and not being as distracted as i’ve been.

that said, it will be fab when we can get another laptop and cell phone for me! lol. when GOD provides. until then, contentment is my goal.

lapbook shake-up

March 20, 2012

sometimes i need to change things up in our schooling when i feel like we’ve settled in to a rut. for us, the rut looks like: let’s get through the “essentials”, quickly and be “done” with schooling.

and then i remember … and life and our experiences remind me: learning doesn’t end! AND mama’s approach and perspective really shapes how our schooling time unfolds each day.

so, maddie has been asking to learn about physical science-type things: earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis. she is curious and wants to learn.

{and may i share that this wanting to learn, this curiosity … is something i am so thankful for!? it challenges and stretches me to stay on my “game” and keep focused and intentional}.

we talked last week and agreed that this week would be a totally different kind of learning week: we’d stick with some basics (math, reading, grammar) but instead of the usual history, science and other misc learning, we would focus totally on a unit study.  she requested we use the lapbook format which i am so thankful that sweet jessica introduced me to a few years ago … it offers my creative, hands-on learner an opportunity to learn while creating and putting together this fabulous final product.

(here’s a great site with free lapbook templates and ideas).

all weekend, maddie was literally squealing with excitement, so excited to start our study this week!

today was day one, and it went really well. as usual, i underestimated how long it would take to do some of the work and projects so we didn’t complete all of my “day 1” plan. but that’s ok. she learned, i learned, and it was good!

i will post pics and an update of the lapbook once it’s all complete.

the other night, i was tucking maddie in and it was one of those nights when the door of soul-sharing was open … i could tell she wanted mama close and wanted to talk. i was intentional about being present; about allowing spaces of silence and the processing of thoughts as we talked. i love this girl so much! her heart is so precious and tender; her vulnerability with me so entirely beyond value.

we covered much … big and small thoughts she had … and landed on the subject of fear.

{this word, fear, having been my close companion for a couple of years. it has been my place of battle, coming in different costumes for different areas of my life but remaining a constant that i have fought body, mind and spirit.}

and so my girl shares her fears, the ones she has been battling this year. the ones we’ve prayed over, claimed victory on and continue to press for total release. i had a word for my girl, and encouraged her that it WILL lift; that this fear will not always be present for her and that someday she will look back almost disbelieving that she struggled with this thing. it will be done. resolved. something of the very-distant past.

she looked at me and asked, “mama, what are you afraid of?”

it was a tender moment, one that as a mama i grapple with: how honest am i to be? what is best and right and good to share with her in this moment?

oh LORD, guide me!

and then i knew.

i began to share about how mama felt when she was pregnant with josiah; how each day i battled deep and gripping fear, wondering – is he ok? will everything be ok? after losing our last baby, fear gripped me.

she nodded, as she had some sense that i had held that concern. she had no idea how INTENSE and consuming the fear was some days.

many days.

today, carrying our little gift within, that fear is GONE. i have such a peace and rest in my heart and mind about this pregnancy; i don’t struggle with fear or worry. it’s incredible! i am learning … to trust, to rest in HIM, to believe and experience a lifting of the fear.

i shared with her that i feel like worrying about this baby will be tainting a GOOD GIFT! i gave an example: what if she received a barbie for her birthday and instead of being thankful for the gift, she was consumed with worry: what if the arm breaks? what if i pull out her hair?

what a waste of a good gift!!

instead, i am THANKFUL. i am enjoying the amazing grace of HIS love … the growing life within.

fear can be overcome, by the strength of the Overcomer. amen!

{side note: hubby and i were talking about this recently – how different this pregnancy has been for me. he’s so glad!! we talked about how my anxiety had me in a place of being so hyper-vigilant, monitoring every feeling and symptom, scouring books and websites for information, tracking every single day of my pregnancy. and now? i realize that GOD is growing this life, without me even having to pay attention. imagine that! lol. isn’t that anxiety … trying to control, instead of releasing and resting in Him?}

short-term vs long-term

January 3, 2012

i have a few areas in my life right now as a mama, wife and woman, that require hard and uncomfortable work in the short-term. i am in a time of really seeking GOD’s wisdom and strength to be more than i am capable of being; do more than i am able to do.

as a mama, some things come very natural for me … nurturing, tending to soul and heart issues, cultivating love and relationship. these things flow.

but i am not so strong and “natural” in areas of training toward character … a fine line difference but one that hubby and i clarified in one of those intense and productive and heartfelt convo’s recently.

so, we are pressing in, uniting as “team green” and implementing some real changes and strategies on the home front.

discipline of kiddos takes discipline for this mama … hard at times in the short-term, but essential in the long-term.

another area of short-term effort for long-term gain is exercise. i have been in reactive mode with my exercise; doing it when i can, some days.  reflecting on this, i know for sure that when i am proactive about executing an exercise plan, i feel SO much better … physically and mentally. it’s essential. and during this season of continued sleeplessness, baby care and homeschooling … it is hard. but i know that i know that i must.

so i will.

another area that is begging for short-term discipline for long-term gain is in stewarding the nutrition and health of my family. the decisions around what we eat as a family are primarily made by me – big burden and excellent opportunity. a few goals have crystallized (and i’ve put them on a note in my kitchen window): “strengthen immunity: reduce sugar, clo, probiotics”. these things have risen recently to mind in my reading and research and will be areas of implementation around here.

i’d love to hear the stirrings you are having these days … areas of resolve, focus, implementation.

 

 

homemade beeswax lotion

November 29, 2011

i am grateful … so very grateful to have stumbled across something so  potentially valuable for our family.

homemade lotion. who knew?! i had dabbled in making moisturizers before but didn’t have great success. for us, and for our girl especially, finding a good moisturizer is a deal-breaker. it’s that important.

and as a mama, i am constantly faced with choosing something that may provide some temporary relief but is filled with chemicals (and/or pharmaceuticals). after all, i want both short-term relief and long-term healing – now, for both of my kids.

so i am overjoyed {and tempering my total exhilaration as we should wait a few days for full effect} about this lotion we made last night.

it was super easy to make and we had everything on hand but the beeswax. i spent a total of $2.16 on the beeswax, and had the coconut oil and olive oil (key ingredients in my kitchen) and calendula oil already..

it is luxurious, and thick but not too thick. it smells delightful – beeswax! and best of all … ,my girl loves it. her skin loves it, and her skin can immediately “diagnose” whether a lotion feels good. she can envision healing. thank GOD.

{not super clear but you can get an idea of how it looks!}

 

schooling this year

August 21, 2011

madison has said several times in recent weeks, how *excited* she is for our school year! i love that – it blesses me and creates excitement and motivation within me.

the other night, we sat together brainstorming and discussing ideas and thoughts for this coming year. she is certainly mature enough to help guide her learning – i make the decisions, for sure, and ultimately have the final say on what needs to be studied – but her input is invaluable.

after all, tapping in to her passions and God-given interests is one of the beautiful gifts of homeschooling. we can dive deep in to a certain subject, learning from a variety of sources, always incorporating artistic and creative elements. this makes learning so fun for both of us!

she is really interested in “famous people” lately – what is their story? particularly in the area of the arts: music, art, acting, etc. so, we are going to do a “famous people” unit study; i’ve identified different areas such as those mentioned above and also including scientist, missionary, athlete, and more. we’ll create a binder for each person; reading about their life, studying their work, learning their story. i love this unit-style learning because the process is so holistic and incorporates many “subjects” at once without the artificial fragmentation so inherent in tradional book work.

i’ve drafted out most of our learning subjects and areas and thought through scheduling and organization. maddie shared that she wants us to be more “organized” this year and i am realizing that my girl really does want a bit more rigidity in our daily schedules – as much as she may protest it during the year! she actually asked that we have our day scheduled in time increments; ie, at 9:00 am we do math, for instance.  i have modified that to look more like time “chunks”; ie, between 9:00am-noon we’ll do Bible, Math, Spelling, Grammar and Science (for example), in that order.

like her, i am eager to lay out a framework for our days … to create some new systems of organization ( i am thinking of having her daily work printed and on a clipboard for her, to continue to cultivate independence in her work).

we will start our year off this year like we’ve done the past 2 years: a week of creativity!! we make “journals” for our various learning subjects … we go to our local donut shop … and we’ll do our first unit study (see below).

our areas of big learning focus this year: Bible (continuing with the same study we did last year, as we both learned SO much); Math (using an online program this year which i am excited about!); Grammar (it’s time to really focus on this); Science (one of her favorite subjects and i found a fabulous looking biology book for this year!); Reading (she will be reading classics during her hour of reading time each afternoon, and do a corresponding workbook for each book that challenges reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc). I am undecided about History – we’ve used Sonlight for 2 years which has been great but i am ready to shift gears.

oh! i found a fabulous poetry book … hundreds of classics … so we’ll read a poem each day and each week, she’ll memorize one. she will also be writing scripture verses daily and doing scripture memorization. she is starting piano lessons, wants to try rock climbing, AND … our homeschool co-op has a FABULOUS “Around the World” study planned. i am so excited!! we will be studying countries of the world; meeting every other week to be taught by a different mama … learning in-depth about the country (language, foods, culture – the sky is the limit). it should be another incredible time of learning with our co-op!

i am sure i will make changes, addendums and adjustments in the next couple weeks before our school year begins … but this is how it’s looking as of today! 🙂