Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Come on Spring!

I'm taking a little detour from Sanity Manifesto.  Hoping to finish it this week tho!

Yesterday I went for a run outside.  Granted, it was a short run because about 7 minutes into it, it started pouring.  It was a cold rain, a reminder that though the temperatures were teasing us with Spring like thoughts, it's really very much still winter.

Winter is a long season, especially when you have small children who ache to go outside.  The hints of Spring just make me want to open all my windows, head to the park, and breathe in that sweet, fresh air.

It reminds me of another longing.

Sometimes this life can be like that.  Sometimes everything is going well, you aren't sure how things could be any better...you can be fooled into believing that this is Heaven, or at least how you picture Heaven would be.
But most assuredly, this is not Heaven.  And usually that reminder comes slapping me in the face just like winter shows up on those days when we are least expecting it.  Sometimes it's a big reminder like a death or a loss.  Sometimes it's a smaller reminder...a hurt not healed or a heart closed off.  Sometimes it's the reminder of this fallen world we are living in.

As good as this Earth can be and it can be GOOD...life is such a sweet, sweet gift, it is NOTHING in comparison of what is to come.  And as hard as this life can be and as long as this life can feel, it is most certainly temporary.

Romans 8: 23 "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

It's helpful for me to remember that even though we have the promise of what's to come, that even though we have the Holy Spirit to help us along the way, that Paul tells us we are GROANING as we wait EAGERLY for our adoption as sons.

It's okay to long for the day when EVERY knee will bow, when EVERY tongue will proclaim.  When you hurt, it's good to GROAN to God.  I remember Mary Beth Chapman saying that every day she wakes up without her precious daughter here, even though she finds happiness and joy, she begs God, "Let this be the day You come back."

One of these days it WILL be the day.  Rest assured, He's coming and He's going to wipe away those tears and finally, completely everything will be okay.  It's a good reminder to me to not cling to tightly to Earthly treasures. It's a good reminder that when things are good, the truth is...there will still be bad as long as we are living on this Earth.
And it's a good reminder that when things are hard...one day they won't be anymore.

Revelation 21:  6  "He said to me, "It is done.  I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sanity Manifesto Part 2

I don't think I did a very good job explaining why I am doing this...this is mostly for own benefit, so I can see what my days look like in comparison to this Sanity Manifesto.  :)  How to stay sane when it seems like the daily to do list is so long!  This is just my take on what I read, and how I can apply it.  The original version can be found here...all credit goes to Anne Voscamp.

9.  Make laughter your chocolate.
Love this, and I think I am good there.  My kiddos bring me lots of laughter.  Laughter when life is crazy gets us through.

10.  No songs without rhythm.
I like her idea here...the idea is routine.  So many times as a stay at home mama, I kind of feel like I'm just letting things happen.  Wake up and see what the day holds.  Some of that is good.  But routine is good too.  Kids need routine.  And I'm finding so do parents!  (This closely relates to #18)

11.  On 25, Take 5.
I do not operate this way, and I think it would be very beneficial to me.  She suggests that for every 25 minutes you are "in the pool" (involved in the task at hand), you take five minutes off.  Again, that can be hard with small children.  But how much would I benefit if I saved my checking facebook, email, and text messages for that 5 minutes?  How much would I benefit if I worked really hard for 25 minutes, knowing that after, I could sit and play with my kids for a bit?  It's an interesting concept rather than trying to go from laundry to playtime to checking text messages to emptying the dishwasher back to laundry...ha!

12.  Unplug to plug into your purpose.
Constant connection to electronics is unhealthy.  I'm one to talk.  This is big for me, but I am trying.  I'm not going to go drastic, but I would like to change this.  I would like to unplug for a few hours every day.  Sometimes I think about my grandmothers with awe and how they got so much done while still being moms to three and five children.  I think, they must have worked their tails off.  Yes, I think they did.  But also, they didn't have some of the distractions and temptations we have today. Facebook, text messaging, etc...we are able to have conversations at any point of the day, any time we want.  And that's not always a good thing.

13.  Watch your nos and your yeses will take care of themselves.
SO much truth here.  She says..."Don't have guilt about a no, because every no is a yes to something else."  We cannot do everything, and at this stage of life, I have to say no to a lot.  But I love the reminder that a no is a yes to something else...it is a setting of the priorities.  No, I cannot teach another student.  Yes, I can spend that time with my family.  No, I cannot Zumba tonight.  Yes, I can make dinner.

14.  Daily Stillness Appointment
She suggests that for five minutes each day...we just sit and ponder.  No emailing.  No facebooking.  No cleaning.  No cooking.  Just sit.  Have you ever done it?  I tried last week a couple of days...it's amazing how long five minutes feels!  The first day it felt like I was just procrastinating what really needed doing.  But after, I think there's some value in it.  Calms you.  Gets you ready to work.  She says..."You only pass by this way once."  Makes you put perspective on the day...this day will only come once.  Am I using my time wisely?

15.  If the Heaven's declare, get out there.
This is all about getting outside once a day.  Oh man this is hard.  Especially in the dead of winter when I don't want to get my kids out.  We do try though..and you can bet in the other seasons, we do it.  I start to go a little nuts when I'm cooped up inside...don't you?

16.  Work on your wall before noon.
She compares this to Nehemiah and his wall.  LOVE this comparison because it's how I feel...just move a few bricks.  No way that wall is going to be completed (is it ever really completed?)  but get a good grip on it before the lunch time hour.  Whether for me that's starting/planning dinner, sending emails regarding lessons, picking out music, grocery shopping, laundry...move those bricks.  I love what she says regarding this..."If you don't intentionally work on your wall, the tyranny of the urgent can make your life a rubble heap."  Yes!  This is what I struggle with!  At least once a day the tyranny of the urgent takes control...I want to prolong it as long as possible.  I want to think about what's for dinner before 5 p.m.  To have emailed my husband my teaching schedule/kids' schedule before I'm texting him saying...where are you?  To have my daughter practice/do homework before it's 7:30 and baths still have to be given.

17.  Envision the end goal.
What does a day look like when my goals have been reached?  What does my end result look like?  An organized house, drawers full of clean clothes, a healthy dinner on the table, happy, clean kids, students who get my undivided attention, homework and practicing done, dishes washed, me getting a work out in...is it even possible?  Haha.  I think it's important to keep in perspective a goal and then a REALISTIC goal...one that's really attainable?  Are all three of my kids going to get a bath every night?  Nope.  Am I going to cook a good dinner from scratch every night of the week?  Hasn't happened yet.  Will my laundry always be caught up? Ha.

18.  Everyday.  Not every now and then.
She reminds us that habitually doing something is what is more apt to change your heart than doing it randomly, when you remember it.  That means my time in the Word has to be set in stone daily.  That means praying for my kids and my husband isn't for when I get time for it, but that I have to MAKE the time for it.  It's not an afterthought.  But what I'm figuring out and probably everyone else has this figured out :), is that it works for getting other things done too.  Laundry in first thing in the morning, out when I get home from school drop off and another load in.  A 15 minute clean up session before I teach and another before bed.  Haven't quite conquered the grocery shopping once a week/weekly menu...but it is a goal.  And I'm getting better!

Stay tuned for Part 3!