afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, homekeeping, thankfulness

A New Change

As of February 14, I am working outside the home. When my oldest daughter was born in 1986, I left the working world to become a stay-at-home mom, then a homeschooling mom, then an empty-nester….grandma at home? I’m thankful for all those years at home; it was hard and required a lot of sacrifice but it has been worth it.

I’ve been looking for a part-time job that wouldn’t take me away from my home keeping duties or from serving in my local church. I took my requests to the Lord and left them there. A few job openings came my way and I applied but didn’t get them. Probably because I haven’t worked in 32 years! But at last one came up that I really wanted and felt like it was a perfect fit. After going in for the interview, it looked promising but the Lord had other plans. It was not to be! I admit that I was very disappointed. Very!

I took that disappointment to the Lord and also left it with Him along with my desire to serve Him. Through a friend I heard about a job opening for an administrative assistant at a local pregnancy center. I went for the interview and a few days later was hired!

I was nervous about getting back into the working world with all the new technology that is out there and because I have been on my own for so long. I’m used to setting my own schedule and working at my own pace.

The Lord answered the desires of my heart through this job. It is 2 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm. It was an adjustment at first but I am getting used to it all now. I have time in the morning to get things done around the house and am home in time to make dinner. While it is about a 30-40 minute commute, it is all highway. I’ve actually been enjoying the drive because I’ve been able to listen to audiobooks. Listening to “Jane Eyre” this past month has been a delight.

I love the people I work with, the volunteers, and the work that I’m doing. Every day it is something new but it uses my administrative and organizational skills. The best part is that I am working at a place that is changing lives and saving lives! I am so very thankful to the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him this way.

Bible study, faith life, homekeeping, prayer

Happy New Year

0b7fd-newyearIt’s that time of year when everyone is making resolutions.  I made some resolutions regarding my health and exercise.  I also made one about Target….not going there unless absolutely necessary.  I go in there to buy a few things and come out spending close to $100.  So this year, I’m on a Target-fast.  Most of the things I buy there, I can buy at Wal-Mart; although I hate going to Wal-Mart but I figure if I go during the day it won’t be so bad.

My main resolution is to be more consistent with my Bible reading and prayer.  I do well when I’m in a study but not so good otherwise.  I know the Word is the source of my strength and hope but sometimes I neglect it.  The same with prayer.  I spent so much time putting together a prayer journal but realized that I haven’t been praying as much as I should.  I love to get organized but I seem to fail at implementation.

Thankfully, there is this:  As you start this new year, your hope is not in what you will do for God, but in what He has already done for you. (Paul Tripp)

I’m ever thankful that He loves me even when I fail.

books, daily life, faith life, home, home projects, homekeeping

This and That

Image

 

Today I’m at home working in the kitchen.  I’ve cleaned out the fridge and washed it thoroughly.  I’ve also cleaned out the freezer.  I still have our chest freezer to go through but that’s pretty up to date.  I use a freezer inventory form to keep track of stuff so I don’t over by.  I think I might need one for the fridge because I have 3 jars of salsa in there; all opened!

I’m making spaghetti sauce right now and later this afternoon I’ll be making some banana bread.  The bananas are perfectly freckled so I know it will taste yummy.

Last night Michael and I picked out the tile and flooring for the master bath.  Today I’ve been looking at paint samples.  The names of them crack me up.  There’s Encounter, Heavenly Day, Blue Gate, Storm’s End, Floral Cascade, Air Kiss, Escape, and Breezy.  All of these are shades of blue.  The one I’m going with is Clear Blue Sky.

Image

It’s a really small room so I want something light and airy.  Everything will be new in there.  The smallness of the room is good because it won’t cost a lot to redo everything.  We’re getting a new vanity and toilet, too.  We’ve been here for 23 years so it’s about time.  The hall bath will be next!

I’m reading Feeding Your Soul:  A Quiet Time Handbook and this was the summary for the chapter I read this morning:

Our choices, primary and secondary, enable us to make and preserve space in our lives for God.  Relationship with God is the “best dish” among all the possibilities of life.  It falls to us to hack back the busyness of life and choose to make room for Him.

What a powerful reminder that it’s the choices I make that affect all that I do and that God is waiting to spend time with me.  He’s always available.  I’m the one who needs to put Him first!!

books, daily life, faith life, home, homekeeping, homeschooling, simple living, thankfulness

Here at Home/Monday

Image

Monday is almost always laundry day.  I try to get it started as soon as I get up and have it all finished before I go to bed.  It doesn’t always happen that way but a lot of times it does!  Years ago when I was homeschooling, I read about the Pilgrims and how they came ashore on a Monday after being in the harbor for a while.  When they came ashore, they had lots of laundry from the voyage over and did their washing right away.  That is why washday is always on Monday.  I don’t know if any of that is true but I liked the idea and followed.  I notice that “days of the week” towels always have Monday as laundry day so maybe there’s some truth in it after all!

Mondays are also for straightening up the house after the weekend.  There are only two of us here now but it seems like we always have a lot of things out of place after the weekend.  I’m not sure why that is because we’re usually out and about on the weekends.

I also like to spend some time at my desk planning for the week ahead; checking my calendar, planning meals, planning chores, etc.  It makes the week go so much better when I know what I’m doing ahead of time!!

I’ve been working at getting the rest of my homeschooling books together to take to a used curriculum sale next Monday night.  I did really well there last year so I hope to do the same.  If I don’t sell what I take, I’ll bring them home to get ready for the state convention in June.  Whatever doesn’t sell there will be donated.  I don’t want them back in my house!

I read a great article this morning about setting the tone for the day.  Our thought life can either encourage or discourage us even before we get out of bed.  Thinking about the Lord and all His goodness to us and being thankful for Him can really make the difference between a good day or a bad day!

afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, daily life, home, homekeeping

Here at Home/Friday

routine

Fridays are usually quiet here at home.  Today was no exception.  The sun was out after 3 days of heavy rain and I think it washed most of the inch worms away.  Happiness and joy!!  They aren’t as bad as two years ago but close.  I’m hoping they won’t be back.

My days here at home are ordinary.  Cleaning, organizing, reading, working on crafts, Bible study, listening to music or podcasts, and many other things.  It’s not exciting work but I always remind myself of what Elisabeth Elliot said:  “Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege.”   I can do my ordinary work here at home to His glory.  Being a homemaker is a holy privilege.  It’s a high and holy calling!  And I can be thankful that He has called me to this and He has sustained me in it.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  (Colossians 3:17)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

daily life, homekeeping, homeschooling, simple living

Repost: Margin

I wrote this post in January 2007 but thought I would share it again now that school and other activities are starting up again. The concept of “margin” has been such a blessing to me and I hope it will be to you also.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The first time I heard about “margin” was at a workshop given by a local homeschool speaker, Shelley Hendry, in 1998. She was giving a workshop on the Titus 2 woman and encouraged us to put margin in our lives. Like margins around the edge of a sheet of paper, we need to have margins around all the areas in our lives. 

The principle of margin is from the book, “Margin” by Dr. Richard Swenson. He has also published a book called “The Overload Syndrome”. I highly recommend both of these books if you wish to put the principle of margin in your life.

What is this margin and how do I create it? Margin is a “white space” around all you have to do during the day. It’s allowing time in your homeschool to work on character qualities when the need arises. It’s allowing time for the unexpected when you are heading out the door to church or on errands. It’s thinking “can I do this (activity, work, etc.) without relationships suffering or losing my sanctification?” It’s having enough time in our day that we can joyfully go about our duties as wives and mothers. It’s planning your life with a cushion for mistakes.

One practical way to do this is when running errands. If you have little ones, you know that nothing takes “ten minutes”. Allow extra time for things to go wrong. Remember that an errand involves stopping what everyone is doing, getting ready, getting everyone into the car, driving to the errand, doing the errand, loading everyone back into the car and driving home. Once you are home it takes a while to unload everyone (and things if you’ve gone shopping) and to unwind and get back to your daily routine. Allow time for this!

Allow margin for time to do important things. If you are so tightly scheduled that when your child asks you an important question you don’t have time to answer it, then you need margin. If you have outside activities so crammed together that you are in a panic when a child loses a shoe or there is a detour in the road, then you need margin.

One of the things that Shelley said during the workshop that stuck with me all these years is “life is not a dot-to-dot”. It’s not about getting from one place to the next in the quickest way possible. We need to have time in our lives to worship the Lord, train our children, manage our households, and care for our husbands. If we are on a dot-to-dot journey, then those areas will be neglected and we “will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:5).

Do you have margin in your life? If so, can you share some of the ways you accomplish this? If not, will you prayerfully ask the Lord to help you in this area?
blogging, faith life, homekeeping, homeschooling

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom

Here’s a letter of encouragement for all you stay-at-home moms. I’ve been home for 26 years now and I’m so thankful.  I’m thankful for my husband and his job that allows me to stay home. It hasn’t been easy but it has been a blessing.  I’m thankful that I was home to see all the milestones.  I’m thankful, too, that I had the privilege of educating my children at home.

As you go about your day, remember that to be a wife and mother is a high and holy calling from the Lord.  The world doesn’t really appreciate what you do but your work is important.  Living out the gospel is most important thing you can do!  Rest in Him and in His grace.