Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Are You Thankful For?

Wow, can you believe we are almost out of January already?  While the north east is digging out of several feet of snow and ice, here I am in the south looking at my weather for the week hoping for peeks of springlike weather already. Indeed, next week some of us will be watching for a certain rodent to predict whether we will have an early spring or six more weeks of winter weather.  I confess I'm one of them...not so much that I believe that a groundhog can tell us that information, but because I love love love warmer weather and the blessings spring brings. Don't get me wrong, I like all of the seasons and what each brings. And in the last day or so, I'm thankful that my friends in the northeastern states are warm and safe despite all the snow they've been getting.

This morning I got the pleasure of sleeping in a bit. Not my favorite thing to do because I tend to get more accomplished when I am up by 7:15 each morning. But this morning I missed my alarm, I'm guessing because I needed the rest. Baby Bear was awake with me and joined me, as he sometimes does, in my "quiet time." He looked at me, shivered a bit in the cooler morning air, and said "Cold." This Mama's heart rejoiced. He communicated with me! I was so proud of him. I love those moments of clarity when he can use words to tell me what's going on his world. Yes, i am very thankful for that. I believe he was thankful that I brought him a blanket to cuddle up in, too. 

As I read today's bible passages (Luke 22:39-71; Genesis 40; Psalm 31; and Proverbs 28, in case you're interested) I became aware of lessons that hadn't really occurred to me before. I'm not comfortable sharing those just yet, but I am thankful to still live in a country where I am free to read and study God's word, and take to heart what he wants to teach me each day. I feel sad that on so many occasions I've neglected to pick up that precious book (or in today's world, bring it up on the screen) and immerse myself in it.  A meme on Facebook said it perfectly: The Bible is meant to be bread for daily consumption, not cake for special occasions.

I could come up with more that I'm thankful for: my husband, who traded places with me so I could go into the bedroom to finish my quiet time in, well, quiet this morning. My brother, who has helped out so much and taught me so much since moving in with us. But i have a young man who wants attention. I'm thankful he's in a good mood this morning, and I pray it continues. It means he's in good health. Now, what about you? What are you thankful for this morning? 

Older pictures of me and my boys. I am thankful for these guys all the time.

Monday, January 26, 2015

One Goal at a Time: Bible Study and Housework

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Y'all, if I believed in signs and wonders I'd be wondering if time was going to stop.  I say that in jest, of course.  I'm in a good mood this morning and I'm writing again. What I would like to do is get back to posting here on the blog more often, but I'll take it one step at a time.

Since the last week or so of December I've been changing a few things in my life. I've wanted to talk about those things here, but I've been hesitant to do so, given my flaky background. I'm a great starter, but not always a great finisher, you know?

Like a lot of people, once Christmas was over, I started thinking about the new year and what i wanted to do with it. I usually have a list as long as my arm of things I want to try or do. This time I decided to focus on just one thing: Bible study. I've started that in years past and have only gotten so far before I let life get in the way. Even discussing here at Home only lasted for a little while. But I've never read the bible in its entirety before and that's what I focused on. Thanks to something I saw on Pinterest I checked out  They have many different reading plans that last from a day or two to all year. Some focus on single topics such as Anger, others take you through the bible in a year's time. I chose one of the latter, as well as a few smaller topics to tackle. That seemed to be a little much for me so currently I read in Proverbs as well as the readings for the bible in a year.  I'm happy to report that I've been doing this for 29 days now. I read the passages online but I have a notebook by my side to write down observations, questions, and such. 

It's been rather humbling to begin this journey once again. I'm noticing things that I hadn't before, even in "stories" that are familiar to me. I find myself talking to my husband about what I've read. And it's helped me with my word of the year:Patience. More on that later, if you'd like.

Strange thing about focusing on one thing at a time and making that a habit; it flows into other parts of life as well. If you've read any of my Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife  posts you know that it's a continual struggle for me. When my brother moved in last August I worked hard at it and grew increasingly frustrated. Finally early this month I sat down and wrote out a chore list for each member of the family. The dishes, for example, are done by Bobby and me. I do breakfast and lunch, he does the supper ones. And I'm happy to say that it works so far. I still have a long way to go in making sure that all of the housework is getting done in a timely manner, but the dishes are done after each meal without fail (okay, it failed once --but we caught up at the next meal). Three of our public rooms are kept up better, if not perfectly the way I want them. It's a work in progress.  

Well, there you have it. That's my goal this year, one thing at a time. I have much more to talk about and it's my plan to write a bit more this week. How has your year started out? Do you have goals and plans you're working on? I'd love to hear from you. Although I may not always answer I do read and enjoy your comments.


Monday, January 12, 2015

I Blew It: A Lesson in Anger and Patience

Hey, Want to know a secret? Come here. Closer. Ready?

I'm not perfect.

I know, right? Shocking. Or not so much. I am a human. I make mistakes.  I sin. I yell at the top of my lungs in front of the people I love most in this world. And i feel like a world class heel.

Remember the Looney Tunes characters when they get mad? Yeah, that was me. I'm not proud of it. There are all kinds of excuses. It's Monday. I was hungry. Blah blah blah. 
   The truth of the matter is I let stress and anger get the better of me and I blew my top. Two people were in tears and everyone in the house was stressed. 

The King James bible says in James 3:8,  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Anger is as contagious as the measles. One person goes off the deep end, others follow. It isn't pretty. What gets me is I've been studying about anger and patience in my quiet time. I've been praying about it. I've been trying to learn the lessons God would have me to learn. I'm trying to see this morning's screamfest not as abject failure, but, as a friend touched on yesterday, a moment of clarity. 

One of the verses that stood out to me in today's study was Luke 11:40

Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 

While that verse actually means to have yourself ready spiritually when Christ comes for his bride, I think it can also be applied to not letting your guard down when it comes to sin.

The bible tells us  
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  1 Peter 5:8
  The end result of the big blow up?  I apologized, the offended party apologized, and we hugged. I still feel like a world class heel, but maybe that's a good thing right now. It's like a mental spanking. That sting can remind me to hold my tongue and speak more calmly next time.