Thursday, March 20

Restore

Every day I have blog posts and topics swirling around in my head. Specific topics, like the way the 3 big kids will entertain Caeli while I cook dinner (it's so easy to have a baby with big kids around!), or how we're going on a mission this spring to eradicate the crawfish from our backyard! More posts about how I have started exercising again, how much I love our homeschool co-op, and how blessed I am to be the mommy of 4 amazing kiddos. Another post about Lent, one about Spring Break, and maybe a couple of updates about Caeli (she's 10 weeks old today!). But alas. My creative juices start flowing, but I am hardly ever in a place to write it down. And when I do find time to write it down, the juices aren't flowing and I feel like I'm just recapping events instead of really remembering them.

So tonight I'll write about the Restore workshop I am participating in right now, because I'm just so excited about it! It's an online workshop given by one of my favorite authors and homeschoolers, Elizabeth Foss

"And after you have suffered a little while the God of all grace who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you." 1 Peter 5:10

Yes, I have been burnt out.  I need restoring, every single day. I have pushed myself too far before, too many times.  And I'm learning that it happens when I try to deal with all of the trappings of my life, instead of giving it to God in prayer.  I worry, I plan, I control.  But how often do I pray? 

The feeling of "burning out" hits me when it's just too much going on without enough prayer.  It's when things beyond my control start to control my life, and I don't invite God in to lead me.

I'm learning to avoid burn out, because I'm not so great at coping with it once it's hit me! I'm learning my boundaries- saying yes when we can or saying no even when I really want to say yes.  And I think sometimes that comes off to other people as arrogance?  Or maybe that I don't care enough?

Daily I remind myself to let things go, trust in Him, and not be so worried about these earthly things.  My goal has always been heaven- for Ryan, for the kids, and for me.  When I think about that, everything else just hardly seems to matter!

But yes... some things need to be done.  I have to keep the house cleaned because that's an outward way of showing God I am thankful for these things.  I feed my kids the best that I can as an offering of thanks to Him, because He gave us our health and this food.  Many times it's a sacrifice to cook, and sometimes I REALLY don't want to, but they have to eat!  (Oh why do they have to eat so often!)  We have to school, and we have to teach our children to be responsible and holy adults. So yes, there are things that need to be done.

I'm looking forward to the entire workshop!  Who else is doing it? Anyone want to get coffee and talk about it?

Spring at Last!

Today is the first day of spring!!!  I can't tell you how excited we are- well, how excited *I* am!  This winter has been so nasty- dreary, cloudy, cold, and wet.  We've had several occasions that snow was foretasted and temperatures were freezing.  We planted our vegetable garden and it froze a couple of weeks later!  Luckily our little seedlings were strong enough to survive- we lost only two tomato plants.  I think I can finally say we're past the cold weather though.  I expect spring to wet like it usually is, but hopefully we will have more sunny days than not.

A couple of days ago we took the opportunity to get outside at a local state park.  The kids wore their boots and I wore my sunglasses. :-)  Happy spring!




Friday, March 7

A Friday Night

The house is quiet, except for the quiet sounds of our dishwasher.  All babies are sleeping (for the moment); it's Friday night so it's "sleepover night" at our house.  Beth, Luke, and Jack choose a bedroom and they all sleep on the floor together.  It's a special Friday night tradition, and that also means it's Daddy's "night off" from reading to them because Beth will read to the boys before they turn off the lights and make shadow puppets, giggle, and fall asleep.  I hope they have sweet memories from these Friday night sleepovers!  One day soon we will have the boys share a room again.  Our trial at that several months ago was short-lived because Luke wasn't getting enough sleep.  Beth is begging for Caeli to sleep in her room, and I've promised her that one day she can share a room with her sister if she wants.  I hope that they all become-and remain- the best of friends.

I miss blogging.  I miss tracking the daily little ins-and-outs of our lives, poor Jack and Caeli won't have nearly as much of their babyhood recorded as Beth and Luke did.  But they have nicer photos and big siblings to love on them!

Some days it's hard to believe we are a family of six now.  But most of the time, it's like Caeli was always here with us, and I can't even remember what life was like before.  Here I am, not pregnant... How quickly did that pregnancy fly by?  And she's 7 weeks old already?  Moving her head to the sound of my voice, watching big siblings play and sing and dance?  Every day I stare into her eyes and beg God to always let me remember her dark eyes and her smile that captivates me.  I can't turn away from her when she looks at me like that!  I can't wait to hear her laugh.

We have mostly good days.  Beth is bored because I haven't been able to get back into the groove of school yet.  That's been the hardest part of everything, but I keep telling myself we will get back into our groove and just work later into June than I had planned.  It's too hot to play outside during the summer anyways, right?  We still go to co-op, and made the decision to return again next year too.  It's SO much work for me but after some internal debate, I realized it's just a sacrifice I have to make for my kids.  They love it, and it's been so good for them.  Luke and Jack love their preschool class, and Beth loves (and excels) at all of her subjects.  It's nice for me to hear from her teachers that they're impressed by her reading skills or her knowledge of bible history, US geography, or American history.  Luke has recently started writing REALLY well.  I'm not sure when or how that happened... He was just ready, and it just happened.  I'm so glad I didn't push him when he was younger.  He loves to draw now, knights mostly, and he and Jack are such good friends... When they're not antagonizing each other.

I'm good right now.  I really wish I could find my groove but I know it will happen when it happens.  I am going to participate in the Restore workshop during Lent and I hope that I am able to refresh my spirit and renew my interest in our academics.  I don't know if I am "burned out" in the traditional sense because we haven't been working too hard lately, but I'm off track.  I have a stack of books I want to read too, though I think I might do a better job of getting them read if I ordered them on my new kindle fire.  I know... I said I wouldn't do it.  I love the feel of books in my hands, I said.  But really... It's awesome.  It's easy to read while I'm nursing Caeli and it's super-convenient when I am reading short reflections and want to switch back and forth between books.  And I've been letting Beth play a math game on there to improve her addition and subtraction skills, so I guess she's learning something these days!

And she wakes...


 
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