Friday, October 17, 2008

Dinner on a Thursday

I am so not a decorator! I post these pictures only to show you that it is possible to have beauty (i.e. Hidden Art) in your home with no talent and no money! Yesterday was a rough one around here and I was feeling a little blue come dinnertime. I decided a pretty table would make our plain ole weeknight fish-and-broccoli dinner a little more festive. The flowers are summer's last blast from my neglected yard; the napkins are cut from a fabric remnant I keep meaning to do something with; the aspen wood vase was last year's anniversary present from My Sweetie. In about 15 min, the table - and my attitude - got a makeover.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:7

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Scaling Back

In the description at the top of my blog, I have these words:
"Thoughts on the joys and struggles of one Mom's journey..."

Well, here is a bit on a struggle I'm having at the moment - the computer. I know from reading other blogs that many of you share this struggle. I've posted about it before. But I was convicted, once again, that too much of my time was being spent here. You may have noticed I'm posting less. If you have your own blog, I'm sure you've noticed that I have been visiting less.

As Dr. Richard Swenson, author of the book Margin, says, "Progress means more and more of everything, faster and faster." Computers, cell phones, blogs, networks, email, voicemail... all fabulous tools, but also all time-suckers. And each new thing competes with the rest of our life for the same 24hrs. In a radio broadcast Swenson did on Focus on the Family, he recommends unplugging as a way of simplifying, allowing us to maintain balance and margin in our time and emotional energy. He says to look at how much time you spend watching tv or using the computer, and see if you can simplify your life (and thus add margin) by cutting back.

So that's what I'm doing. Swenson also says, "Everything I own, owns me." You have to maintain and keep up with your stuff - even "stuff" like google reader, email, blogs, and networks. I think the Lord is showing me that I can't be faithful to His calling to nurture & educate my children, manage my home, and love my husband plus spend so much time in front of a laptop - even if I'm doing good things there. That's the hard part of finding margin - saying "no" to good things.

I think we're all in the same boat, really - don't you? We've all got a thousand things to juggle, and we all have the same 24 hour day. Computer-networking is a fun outlet for a busy mom who may find it difficult to catch up with old friends by phone or in person. You can email or blog in the middle of the night! But there has to be a limit, and I think I've reached mine ... at least for now.

I may not post or visit very often, but I'll be around from time to time. And those of you I've gotten to know better will for sure be in my prayers. God bless!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Imagination

I just had to share a glimpse of recess today at the Next Thing house. I went out to check on the kiddos and here's what I found:
-M (9) with a plastic knife and cup, cutting of sprigs of boxwood, pretending they are herbs for her "soup"
-C (12) hammering an old piece of crumbling concrete, just because. He said, "Mom, can I just keep hammering? It's fun."
-K (2) taking great delight in running in an out of the bushes - Laughing at herself when no one is looking
-S (14) watching over things and using sticks to make speed bumps for A (4),
who is racing down the grassy hill on his tricycle like Evil Kenevil
--and then... S taking his turn going over the speed bumps on A's little bike

It doesn't always look this happy, but I love it when they are all using their imaginations, enjoying each other's company, and (for the big boys) ignoring the world's notion that they're too old to "play."

Thank you, Lord, for this sweet vision of their childlike hearts!