What's your resolution for the new year? My resolution is not to have new year's resolutions any more...LOL! Seriously...I want to be a person who grows ALL year long, not just the first two weeks of the year. That's why this year I'm focusing on the S.I.M.P.L.E. plan.
It's gearing up over there so join us for a S.I.M.P.L.E. New Year!
For many years, I wanted to be the perfect mom. Then I had kids... and what I wanted most then was just to survive the day. Not one single desire to be the perfect mom came even close to preparing me for all the details of real life. And just when I think I've survived the diapers and bottles, along comes the teen years. Now my prayer may have to be that MY KIDS survive having me as a mom!
Why does it seem that things are rolling along, life is being lived and then BAM! God decides maybe mommy needs a wake up call. My wake up call came today in the form of a teenage daughter (and you have no idea how I struggled to type that!) who is just a little bit too much like her mom.
The reflection I saw in my daughter today was that I... ...really want to do the right thing, I'm just not so good about putting that into action. ...find it much easier to do the things "I" prefer to do, not necessarily what has been asked of me. ...want to please my parent (God) but I just really don't like doing some of the stuff He wants me to do. ...think maybe God doesn't notice if I take the shortcut but He does (DARN!). ...find it really easy to lose my purpose and direction.
My heart is heavy. I want to reflect the love of Christ and if my children are to reflect me, then that is what I want to see in them. But I am human and unfortunately I reflect my human-ness pretty well. So my prayer as I close this post is that, as we draw closer to the birth of our Lord, the mommy my children see will be one of the ACTION of LOVE. That what they see in me will draw them closer to Christ and not farther away from Mom.
Well, I'm glad you asked. I had this great post planned about our "SIMPLE" Christmas, even had most of it written but that wasn't what was on my heart. Guess I'll have to save that one for later this week... I'm sure you can't wait...LOL!
The dear husband and I have had many talks over the past two years or so about developing a "simple" lifestyle. We live almost in the center of a city that whole-heartedly endorses a "More Is Better" philosophy (the more activities your kids are in the better, the more rooms in your house the better, the more toys you have the better... you get the idea). Well, we've been down that road and it is just not OUR philosophy any more. So what do we do??? We work on making things S.I.M.P.L.E.
Somewhere along the path, I began to see that "simple" was more than a lifestyle I wanted, S.I.M.P.L.E. stood for the areas of my life that I want to focus on. And amazingly enough they line up in order of importance. So let's take a look...
S - Spiritual... this would include my prayer time, bible reading, learning more about my faith, spending time with God, time at church.
I - "I" (well, that would be me...LOL!)... this includes hygiene, health, hobbies, activities that I enjoy.
M - Marriage... these are goals that I have for my marriage, improving my relationship with my husband, activities with him.
P - Parent... these are the goals I have as a parent, ways to improve my communication with my children, activities I want to do with them, discipline, and habits I think they should have regarding hygiene, health and hobbies.
L - Living arrangements... this is the one that includes cleaning, paying bills, menu planning (if I ever did that), laundry, vehicle maintenance.
E - Education... this is important to me because I educate my children at home, but as they grow older, it will probably evolve to my own education or to a career of some sort. If you do have children, but don't school them at home, then this would be for the "Extras" like sports, homework, and things like that.
I've already begun working on these this year but am just now beginning to give this idea a voice. If you read this blog, I hope you will follow me over on S.I.M.P.L.E., as well. And I'd love for you to give it a try and comment on your S.I.M.P.L.E. plans. My hope is to have some planning sessions before the new year and then begin with a more formal S.I.M.P.L.E. plan in January. Hope to see you there!
The good news... my online time has decreased. The bad news... it still needs to decrease a lot more.
The good news... without being online so much, my brain has had time to think about things. The bad news... now my brain is on overdrive thinking about too many things... LOL!
So since this is MY blog, I'm going to use a little piece of it to share what is now clogging up my brain cells (those who are squeamish may want to look away NOW...LOL!)
Thankful Project - This is a project I started because I desire a family focused on Thanksgiving (the act not the holiday). It's a nifty little idea and I can see a big difference after only a week. My thoughts are here wondering if I'm going to be able to do this another 358 days! I know, I know one day at a time.
S.I.M.P.L.E. - Another blog??? I know... why have 2 when I can have 3??? Actually, I've had this brain child spinning around in my head for about a year now. I just decided to get it out there and see what happens. It's hiding out in my brain right now because even though I've started it, I can't quite decide what I want to do with it now... LOL!
The Homeschool - I've got so many plans but that seems as far as they get. Putting it into action has just not been my strength. So how do I move from the great plans I have to activity? Hmmm, that's what I've been wondering too!
The House - There is a phrase in Overeater's Anonymous... "ACTING AS IF." Friday after I posted about my depression, I decided to try it and "act as if" I was in a cleaning mood. Surprisingly, it worked!!! Okay, I'm not done, but this weekend was amazingly productive. In fact, I'm really stunned at how wonderful the kitchen looks... one of my major trouble spots. Of course, I still have much to do and hence, more brain clog.
The Kids - Well, I'm a mom, they are always on my mind. Four kids, four times the brain traffic... need I say more???
The Husband - My dear husband has many things on his mind, therefore, I do too.
ME - Oh gosh, where do I begin??? I'm really wanting to get into digital photography and digital scrapbooking. I want to learn languages. I want to read. I want to play hockey (okay, that one even throws me for a loop... might actually be a good blog topic). I want to play the piano. I want to travel. I want to write. I want to start cooking nutritious meals for my family (I really do, dear husband). I need to make use of the tools of Overeater's Anonymous and get rid of the weight that is keeping me unhealthy. I want to spend time on the hobbies I already enjoy... knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, smocking, scrapbooking, cross-stitch, music and singing, crafting, painting, I guess the list goes on and on. And some new hobbies... the digital photography and scrapbooking, play station games, bread baking, green products, Russian history, lots of computer stuff (programming and blogging and design, oh my!), and it seems that list is ever-growing as well. And the two biggies on my list (for those of you that didn't doze off by now), I desperately want to start a business of some sort that I can do while I continue to homeschool yet raise enough money to put us in a position so we can do missionary work. Whew!
The Church (God) - This one is pretty much covered in the mission work...LOL! I want to hold those babies in the orphanages in Romania. I can't think about it too much because it just breaks my heart but every time I see a baby, I think of those sweet, unheld babies in orphanages around the world. I want to hold them. I want to let them know that they are not alone, that God loves them and will always be there for them even when we humans fail them. I want to teach our children the blessing of loving those that others have abandoned. I am very fortunate to be part of the community of saints known as the Orthodox Church... I want to not only teach my children the blessing of being an Orthodox Christian but to share that blessing with others.
Oh, did I also mention that I've got Christmas and travel plans and gifts on the brain. Wait, it may have exploded!!! Nope, I think it's just EMPTY now that I've gotten it all out on the blog
It has not escaped my noticing that the third week of moving towards a rhythm has begun. I've been occupied with the NEW project but I'm still plugging away at this one. This week's focus is some parenting issues that I need to get in place.
I have definitely not succeeded this past two weeks as I had hoped. I still have some things to do before the homeschool list is complete. And, let's just say, in regards to the house stuff... ewww, not enough time in a year to get that one done...lol! So I will keep moving on with my weeks but still try to wrap those up as well.
I know many things have not been accomplished because, well, there are just too many things to be done... LOL!!!! But I've really been struggling these past few weeks with depression as well, and let's face it, who wants to do something(or anything, for that matter) when it takes every ounce of energy to get a diet dr. pepper? I have realized however, that I have the desire to get things done, just not the physical initiative to get going. My OA program is lacking, my spiritual fire has fizzled, my joy and peace are non-existent. So now what? So now I pray and I ask God to show me how to find that joy and peace. I hear Him already but do I want to obey? And what if disobedience just leads to more depression... probably shouldn't go that route.
Oh, I just hate it when God wants me to spend less time on the computer...LOL! But, yep, that's what I hear. Darn! And improve my emotional connections with the kids... geez, how convenient... on parent week :-) And of course, God wouldn't forget HBD - perhaps I should listen more and talk less? And I definitely know he wants me to find some quiet time.... HELLO? Do you know what time of year this is, God? Do you know what my to do list looks like??? Hmmm, yep, You probably do... on all accounts.
If I honestly listen, it really sounds like God wants me to listen to the music before I try to set a rhythm. May the songs of your life bring you joy this week.
I've been busy working on my "Thanksgiving" project. It's not exactly as I want it yet but I'm almost there.
But first I want to share my plans for helping my children to keep "Thanksgiving" in Christmas. I've been busy finding ornaments for the kids to make. In fact, I've got one ornament planned every day from now until Christmas. 24 ornaments...yikes!... but before you head for the anti-anxiety medicine (or perhaps guess that maybe I've had too many of mine...LOL) let me share that most of these are very SIMPLE. Most need only a few items that I found at the dollar store. So where does "Thanksgiving" come in? As we create our ornaments, each of the kids will have to pick one thing to give thanks over and then explain why they are thankful for that particular person or thing. I want them to dig deeper than "I'm thankful for the trees." Then each ornament will be hung on a tree in their room. SIMPLE (some of you may not know that is one of my very favorite words).
Now, on to the project. I have created a second blog. For the next 365 evenings, I am going to post what each member of our family is thankful for and why. I'm hoping I can get the "old folks" to participate as well. I'm hoping there will be a difference in my family next December 1st that I will be... well... THANKFUL to see. Please join me and the family as we make 2009 the Year of Thanksgiving. Hope to see you over at the Thankful Project.