Monday, May 23, 2011

Subduing My Little Plot of the Earth

I sit on the ground and run my fingers through the dirt, sifting through chunks of sod, throwing the grass and roots to one side to create a nice plot in which to grow - to produce.  It's a small space, really; but, in it, I take a stab at subduing the earth.  I touch it, manipulate it, and attempt to make it bring forth food for my family.

And my heart quakes a bit as I nervously plan and survey my efforts.  I've neglected this mandate, and I'm such a green green-thumb.  Totally out of my element. . . I wonder if anything will grow.

I so want this to work - to not only provide my own family with fresh produce while saving some grocery money. . .  I want to help those in need - those families at my own church that I know could use some free veggies.  I want to offer the little I have. . .

. . . And that's it!  Fresh veggies from the garden sound delightful.  But what I really long for is to have something to give - however small - a mite of my own to put in the collection box - to hand over to God - to give to others.

And I want to do this with my children.  I want to teach them what it means to be a steward of all the Lord blesses you with. . . that good stewardship means taking the little blessing you have, making the most of it, and then giving it away.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thoreau on Nesting ~ Gratitude 11

"There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is in a bird's building its own nest.  Who knows but if men constructed their own dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged." ~ H. D. Thoreau
I'm so thankful to have a home to make and a family to nourish. . . Would that I let it keep me singing more than sighing.

200.  A morning thought.
201.  Drizzle.
202.  Collecting my thoughts.
203.  An answered prayer to be savored.
204.  Kids slurping spaghetti.
205.  Kids digging for worms.
206.  Finding burried treasure with a 4yo.
207.  Races in the back yard.
208.  Kisses and loves.
209.  Order in the midst of chaos. . . or is the other way around?
210.  Little arms tied around mine.
211.  Little Monets.
212.  A morning walk and the found empty robin's egg that now sits on my kitchen windowsill.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It Starts with Me

My 8yo is self-centered. . .

My 6yo is hyper-sensitive. . .

My 4yo is angry. . .

My 3yo is manipulative. . .

I am all these things.

I'm beginning to see that the first step in dealing with these sins in my children is to deal with them in my own heart first.

Like my 8yo, I cry and stomp my foot when things don't go my way.  I question when asked to do things I don't want to do.  I argue when I don't agree.
  • Oh, to be thankful in EVERY situation.  To smile always, even through tears, and give out-loud praise to God in every circumstance.
  • Oh, to do the hard work without asking anyone, "Why?"
  • Oh, to seek to agree - to humble myself, to get off my own platform, to release my own opinions.
Like my 6yo, the littlest things set me off.  I wound myself with every word, action and look that makes me uncomfortable.
  • Oh, to take criticism as Divinely directed help and let insults roll off my back.
  • Oh, to allow God to use others to guide and help me.
  • Oh, to see God in everyone's face.
Like my 4yo, I boil over - some days it takes almost nothing to set me off.  I shout and hurt myself and others with my actions and words.
  • Oh, to live a life of peace - always seeking to live in the peace of God - to live peace, react peace, be peace to others.
  • Oh, to shut my mouth, bite my tongue, choose quiet.
  • Oh, to still my body - to be still before God.

Like my 3yo, I take the easy route of manipulation to get what I want and need.  Rather than firmly communicating my needs and trusting God to provide, I nag and pout and bicker to get my needs met.  Rather than discipline and train my children, I bribe and threaten to get obedience, cooperation and respect.
  • Oh, to want less.
  • Oh, to correctly communicate my needs to others and trust them to God alone.
  • Oh, to choose the difficult path of consistent discipline and training that leads to life rather than the easy path of bribery and threats that leads to destruction
These things that my children struggle with will need correction and disicipline and teaching and training.  There are specific actions that need to take place to help my children deal with these sins and heart issues.  But the first and most important thing I can do for my kids is to work on my own heart and deal with these sins in my own life - to be an example of righteousness and show them what to do when they slip and fall in these areas.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gratitude 10

161.  2yo's bob and "flapper" look - her "dancy clothes".

162.  Read faces and sweaty locks.

163.  Husband getting there safely.

164.  Warm sun through the window.

165  Anticipation of good fellowship.

166.  My beet-red face after mowing the back.

167.  Baking. . . my therapy.

168.  Learning to let go.

169.  Cool breezes.

170.  "Stained glass" crosses on every window - constant reminders.

171.  Lilacs - even if this is a low-bloom year.

172.  Safety.

173.  Bright green leaves on the sugar gum tree.

174.  A mouth full of PB&J.

175.  Brown bunny munching his lunch as I take my walk.

176.  My two creative girls - always making, singing, dancing and "dreaming" - especially nice when they create together.

177.  PB&Js and peanut butter cookies - the foods of childhood!

178.  My four children - they've been given to me to train and help form. . . and to be formed by.

179.  God loves me in all my faults and weaknesses - I am accepted and unconditionally loved.

180.  My tree climbers.

181.  Welcome home hugs.

182.  Sibling play - chase, hide-and-seek.

183.  The guy who let me make my left before going on his own way.

184.  Watching TV with my kids for a bit.

185.  Having husband back.

186.  Sleeping on the sofa for Friday Night Late Night!

187.  Filling the pantry.

188.  "Can I bake the cake with you?"  6yo's desire to spend time helping me bake.

189.  By the stream with the family.

190.  Cool water on toes.

191.  Smooth stones and odd shells beneath the clear, sparkling water - memories withing a memory.

192.  Toy ships setting sail.

193.  Rocking my 4yo in my arms the first half of the sermon. . .

194.  . . . Looking at photo albums with him the second half.

195.  Finally finding a "Strawbaewy Giwl" cake topper of sorts.

196.  A good, yummy, big dinner - pork cooked just right.

197.  Husband proud that I was humble enough to fix boxed mac & cheese - it's the little things that please him.

198.  Tea together.