Monday, September 28, 2009

Time to Regroup, Prioritize, and Lay Low

I've been here before. I'm sure that as long as I'm on this side of Glory, I'll be here again. Burnout. Frustration. Overwhelmed.

But "a bruised reed He will not break." The Lord has given me counsel through His word, through re-reading a good book , through a convicting blog post, and through good, godly friends. (you know who you are! thanks!)

The truth of the matter is this: I've got toddlers to teens; high school to preschool - with everything in between. Faithfully mothering young children is a full-time job. Faithfully mentoring teens as they become young adults is a full-time job. Homeschooling is a full-time job. I think somehow I assumed that since I'd been at this for 15 years that I was somehow coming to the easy part. You know, the part where I get to workout whenever I want, attend book clubs, shop in the middle of the day, and get lunch with friends. And oh, yes -- blog and read others' blogs!

Not that I can never do those things. But I'm realizing (again -slow learner!) that the best contribution I can make to the world - and God's Kingdom - right now is to be a faithful mother to my children and a helpmeet to my husband. And do it with JOY (James 1:2; Phil 4:4) and THANKSGIVING! (I Thes. 5:18; Psalm 107:1). And without complaining. (Phil 2:14)

I'm performing surgery on my schedule, cutting out activities that are getting in the way and causing me to be all "hurry and flurry" about the things that matter. I'm letting the phone go to voicemail during school hours, staying home more, checking addictive social networking site (you know the one!) less, and laying low in the blogsphere. Please forgive me if I have not stopped by your site recently, or if I miss a few of your lovely posts. I'm so blessed by all the blogs that I read. But I must be careful. Five minutes on the computer quickly turns into half an hour, and then I'm frustrated at myself, behind in my work, and not in the frame of mind I need to be to tenderly train and teach my children.

So thank you for understanding and please bear with me as I blog less and live more. Blessings! :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today's Mercies

I am using John Piper's fantastic book A Godward Life as a devotional with my older children. The portion we read today was very fitting for our family as we adjust to the stress of a new school schedule, but I suspect we all can identify in one way or another, so I share the first part here.

(Meditation on Matthew 6:34 "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Piper says:

Part of saving faith is the assurance that you will have faith tomorrow. Trusting Christ today includes trusting him to give you tomorrow's trust when tomorrow comes. Often we feel today like our reservoir of strength is not going to last for another day. The fact is, it won't. Today's resources are for today, and part of those resources is the confidence that new resources will be given tomorrow.

A Godward Life, (Multnomah Books, 1997) p.25

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

You do what you've gotta do...

Today is my "easy" homeschool day. The Big Boys go to Veritas, and I will start attending a ladies' Bible study at church in a couple of weeks. So I've not scheduled Tuesdays as a big workday for M (10) and A (5). Today I decided I would try to get in some kind of run on a local Greenway after dropping S (14) and C (12) off at school. Operative phrase being "some kind."

Here's how it goes: Drive around aimlessly for 20 min, unable to find Greenway until helpful bro-in-law gives directions to a park with easy access. Ok. Now, get out the clunky, old Gra*co single stroller for K (3), as well as scooter & helmet for A. Think to self: "why do I not own a jogging stroller?" Decide that training for a half-marathon requires some actual time running, and this is the best I'm gonna get today. Load K in the stroller and set off. (M leaves her scooter in the car, saying she'd rather run like me. I'm concerned about this, but I'm also concerned about how I'll carry 2 scooters and push the stroller when everyone gets tired before 3 miles are up. That's one of the reasons I picked the Greenway, though, instead of a loop trail ... once we're on it, ya gotta finish to get back to the car! *wink*)

Running with this old stroller isn't easy - it has to be man-handled through every turn and I have to bend over to push. Hard on the back, but good for the biceps! ;-) Jog at a pretty good pace for the first 1/4 mile or so. Concrete sidewalk gives way to lovely boardwalk along the creek. Splat! A wipes out on his scooter on the wet wood (did I mention it was drizzling? What is wrong with me?) Biker speeding by beeps a wimpy little horn and narrowly misses the fallen boy on the trail. Hug, wipe the knees, and lay the scooter over the stroller handle so A can go on foot. Continue jogging, with the scooter's extra weight now making the stroller a real challenge.

A quickly tires of running. Asks to get in stroller. Ok, K is ready to stretch her legs, so I slow down and walk a bit. Scooter still "parked" on the stroller handle, as we're still on wet wood. Wood gives way to asphalt and M decides to take a turn with the scooter. A doesn't want to give up his spot in the stroller, so I put K ... in the basket! Running uphill with 2 kids in a non-jogging, single stroller! Are we having fun yet?

And so it went for the first two miles. We had no other major incidents, even when the trail briefly followed a busy road, then went d.o.w.n a steep ramp to cross under it. We finally hit our stride for the last mile, with M happily scootering (wth only one little wipeout - silly wet wood!), A running, and K in the stroller. After all his complaining on the first leg of the trail, A ran the whole last mile! I had told them we were doing 3 miles total, and when he reached the car, A kept saying, triumphantly, "I ran a 5K! I ran a 5K!"

And you know what? Perhaps not the most serene run I've ever had, but definitely a workout and definitely a memory made.