Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Baptism

A couple of young men in our church were baptized last Sunday and it was just beautiful.
Here are pictures:

One of those young men was my brother and here's his account of it:

Made me want to be baptized all over again!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--A day late

I feel like I'm always behind. Always running late. Always trying to catch up.

And I know why. It's because I don't plan ahead and I procrastinate.

pro crast in ate |prəˈkrastəˌnāt, prō-|
verb [ no obj. ]
delay or postpone action; put off doing something: it won't be this price for long, so don't procrastinate.
procrastinator |-ˌnātər|noun,
procrastinatory |-nəˌtôrē|adjective
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin procrastinat- ‘deferred until tomorrow,’ from the verb procrastinare, from pro- ‘forward’ + crastinus ‘belonging to tomorrow’ (from cras ‘tomorrow’).

It's related to laziness, or slothfulness. These are such yucky words. I want to be able to use words like active, industrious, efficient to describe myself. And since I'm not naturally a proactive person, I am taking some steps that will hopefully help.

One thing I'm trying is to make some sort of schedule. I've tried this in the past and it hasn't even worked through the first day because my goals were too lofty and impractical. When you live with a family, you kinda have to go with the general flow...

So what I did was write down what our 'natural schedule' is. Then, the times and areas that needed some tweaking, I tweaked in a gentle way. Like instead of saying that I would wake up at 5:30, read the bible for 2 hours and then go jog for an hour, and then fix breakfast for everyone (which sounds impressive), I set my rising time for 6:55, and then wrote out my usual routine of making coffee, making breakfast, reading my Bible and cleaning up the kitchen. But, I would have more time to do all that, it would be quieter and it would get everything else set on a good course for the rest of the day.

The other thing is to make to-do lists. Things that must be done on a certain day, like a phone call, paying a bill or writing a blog post. And then things that I need to do on an on-going basis, like knitting or baking. I love the feeling of checking things off a list. : )

So today was the first day with this new plan. 
It has been really nice. Just getting an earlier start was lovely. 
I got up with my alarm at 6:55, heard my dad leave for work. Tip-toed out of my room and made my way downstairs. Mom wasn't up yet. Made coffee and got toast going. I usually have a smoothie, but I didn't want to wake the house with the blender. Washed a few dishes left from last night and by then toast was done and mom was up. I spread some Nutella on my toast and took it, my Bible and my journal out on the porch. Had some good 'God-time'. : )
When I went back in, Natalie and Nathan were up. Mom and I were able to get out and jog almost an hour earlier than usual and it was so nice and cool. By the time we got back, mom still had plenty of time to head up to the grocery store and I cleaned up the kitchen and played a game with Natalie.
I got our lunches ready in good time and it's just been pleasant since then. 

Now, I'm getting something on my to-do list done: write a blog post. And I really need to finish up so I can go run some errands. In the car. By myself. : D

The REAL test will be tomorrow! And the day after that and the day after that...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Articles

These are both for the benefit of a busy mother, but I found them applicable for big sisters as well. : )

Five simple ways to nurture your children

Cutting down on frustrations

Make-up Monday--Attitude


Some have more. Some have less.

Saturday, I had more.

I was just ill all day long. And there was a reason, but no excuse. I didn't feel well. I had a headache that went all the way down into my shoulders and all I wanted to do was sleep.

So instead of telling everyone that I felt bad, taking something for my headache and going to bed, I chose to pretend like nothing was wrong. Everyone was busy and I felt like I wouldn't be helping if I went to rest. But I was wrong. Me snapping and being unkind was the opposite of helpful.

If I had just told them that I wasn't feeling well and gotten out of the way, I think that would've been more helpful. I pray I can learn this lesson of communicating for next time, so it doesn't get repeated.

Being irritable is not a good feeling and it makes everyone else in the house irritable as well. It also is NOT what love is.  

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

When I find myself being irritable or cranky, if I look at what my focus is, it's always me. When I'm too focused on myself and making myself happy, I'm not thinking about the others around me and how my actions and decisions will affect them. And when one of those is a three-year-old, it gets multiplied...

I think that's what this is all about. 
I read an article by a mother of several children. She talked about when she was a teenager and all the time she had for bible study and prayer. She thought she was doing so well with her sanctification. She compared her sanctification process to a rock slowly being smoothed by a gentle flowing stream. But then she got married...then she had a child...then she had another. And before she knew it, God had thrown her into a rock tumbler of sanctification! 

I loved that image of a rock tumbler. Your rough edges don't get worn down gently over time, they just get knocked off and it's anything but gentle. Every time baby sis gets whiny and needs attention and I have to put aside what I'm doing, I'm getting a rough edge knocked off. Every time I think I know better and my parents tell me otherwise, I'm getting a rough edge knocked off.

If I could only see these 'irritations' as the blessings they are.

If only I could see the opportunity for growth in front of me.

My agenda needs to change. Instead of thinking of ways to keep myself happy at the expense of others, if I will just seek to serve the ones around me, I can find joy in that. Much more joy than in serving myself.

O Lord, only through Your Spirit can I do this. Teach me to love sacrificially, little bits at the time. Help me to recognize the opportunities. I know there will be one first thing the morning...