Category Archives: Housekeeping

A Confession, Apology and Update.

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A Confession:

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

1 Peter 1:13

Self-control. This is my greatest struggle. I think that the underlying cause of all sin is selfishness. We sin because we put our own desires first; we fail to control ourselves. I am lazy, thus the name of this blog, and I struggle with motivating myself to do the things I know I should be doing. And I feel bad, guilty, ashamed but I fail to truly grasp the importance and implications of my actions (or lack of action). The verse I quoted above is really only useful if taken in context. It begins, “Therefore.” My first youth pastor always said, “If you see a ‘therefore’ in the Bible, you should ask, ‘What’s it there for?'” In this case it is there to connect the directions and guidance for living with the reason for those directions. Why do we need to be self-controlled? 1 Peter chapter one begins with Peter addressing the persecuted church scattered throughout the nations. He is talking to believers and he starts by reminding them of the hope they have in God. He reminds them of their salvation and then tells them, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action..”  The passage continues and he says in verse 17:

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:17-18

My life, your life if you are a believer, has been bought, redeemed, saved. We were not purchased with money, silver or gold or any other perishable thing of this world, but with the perfect, priceless, blood of Christ. What more motivation could I possibly need to do anything?! And yet, I struggle…

I struggle with getting out of bed first in the morning when I would much rather snuggle with my handsome hubby and get a few more minutes of sleep.

I struggle with staying active and caring for my body in a way that glorifies God.

I struggle with self-control in the area of reading. I have always been a bookworm, and reading can be a great thing, but for me it is also a temptation, a way to escape into fantasy worlds and avoid dealing with the chores and day-to-day monotony of my life, a life that Christ died to give me, but I dare call boring.

I tell my husband that I would, “go anywhere for a year,” meaning a foreign mission field or California, where ever. I have always dreamed of living in a third world country and I would go in a heartbeat given the opportunity, but I can’t manage to keep up with the laundry or minister to the people in my community here. I once heard a sermon where the pastor compared our service to God to different denominations of money. He talked about giving our “quarters” and not just our “thousands.” I would give my thousands in the form of moving, leaving home and family and everything familiar, but I fail to give my quarters, the small, daily sacrifices that life is composed of.

I think the only real cure for this is a better understanding of the sacrifice made for me, for all of us. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit working in my life so that I can fully understand the importance of my actions.

I seek to serve God, please my husband and care for my family, in that order and I ask your prayers for me as I daily struggle to control my sinful self and to “live as a stranger in reverent fear.”

An Apology:

I lied to you. My last post indicated all of these great topics that I was going to write about and how I would blog once a week and it was going to be great. Well, if you read my confession above then you know that blogging is not the only thing I have not been doing that I should be. I love having this blog and the opportunity to share with the world and I hope that ya’ll benefit from my writing. I hope to write for you move often in the future, but in the meantime I hope you will forgive me for misleading you.

An Update:

Oh how time does fly. I read a quote a friend posted on Facebook the other day that said: “the days are long but the years are short.” That is exactly how I feel. Micah is incredible. He keeps me busy and I am often tired and suffer from cabin fever so that my days feel long but I can’t believe his birthday is just over a month away. No way has he been here a year already! Yet, in someways it seems like he has always been here; it’s hard to picture our family without him. Just this week he learned to clap, so that is his new favorite thing and he grins every time  waiting for me to say,”Yay!” He is super active, crawling and pulling up on everything. He has learned that he can lean against the back of our couch and then stand without holding on to anything so he can play with his toys. He is really close to walking but hasn’t yet gotten brave enough to stand on his own. I’m excited to see him grow and learn new things but I’m in no hurry for him to grow up or become any more mobile than he already is. He is so cute. I need to take some pictures and share on here. But, for now I am going to go get him; I can hear him waking up from his nap.

Upcoming Topics

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I have realized that Sundays are the best time for me to be able to sit down and type up a blog post. We have church in the morning, then come home and have a quiet afternoon while Micah naps, before heading back to church in the evening. So, Sunday afternoons would be the ideal time for me to try and work on this blog. I’m not promising a new post every Sunday (since I am really bad at sticking to those kinds of promises) but I think you will see more posts, more often.

Here is a list of topics that I have been wanting to address for quite a while now. If any of you have other ideas or things that you would like to see me write about, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section.

So, in no particular order:

1. Cloth diapering: I LOVE CDing and get a lot of questions about how it works, how much it costs, etc. This will probably require two or three posts to do it justice.

2. Going “No Poo”: this will also be a series dealing with eliminating the poo in our lives. I will detail some easy, practical ways to do this while saving money.

3. The problem with marriage: why so many marriages fail and what we can do about it.

4. Homeschooling: what does the Bible have to say about it?

5. Confessions: my testimony

6. Vaccines: what you should know beforehand

7. The problem with accountability partners, and another confession.

8. Confession: why I want to be a missionary, and why I would be really bad at it.

9. Amber Teething Necklaces: what’s all the hype about?

10. My room-a-day home cleaning schedule.

11. Some recipes we love.

That’s all I have so far but it will probably take six plus months to cover them all. Again, if you have any other topics you would like me give my opinion on, please leave a comment letting me know.

Waste Not, Want Not

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I have recently been convicted about how much waste (trash) our family produces. We have a pretty small trashcan in our kitchen and it is always overflowing. I keep finding myself thinking, “I wish we had a bigger trashcan,” when really, a better solution is to simply not produce as much trash. We don’t use very many paper products, but lately I have been trying to cut back even more. I LOVE cloth diapering (that’ll be a whole ‘nother post!), so we don’t produce waste there, either. The majority of our trash comes from unwanted, unsolicted newpapers and junk mail. So, I have been brainstorming ways to either reduce or repurpose our trash. All suggestions are welcome! Here are some of the ideas I have come up with so far:

1. use only cloth towels and napkins (no paper)

2. use cloth sanitary napkins

3. use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (I do this for Micah, why not for us too?)

4. shred newspapers, junk mail…any paper, really. Use to make homemade paper or add to compost pile

5. use my own bags when shopping

What are some ways that your family uses to reduce waste?

The best of intentions

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 From May 6, 2012:

Micah, in his swing, six weeks old.

Micah is now seven weeks old. I told myself that I was going to blog more regularly to help keep our extended family updated on our daily happenings, but you know how that goes. He is a great sleeper (normally). My biggest challenge right now is getting him to nap in his crib. He loves his swing, but I don’t want him to be in the habit of sleeping in it (too late!). Everytime I put him in it, he falls asleep so yesterday I didn’t use it…and he didn’t nap. 😦 From 12:30pm to 12am he only slept about an hour total. Needless to say we were both very tired and running short on patience. Once he finally went to bed for the night, he was fine. I half anticipated him sleeping for a longer than ususual length of time before waking to eat, but no. He is going through his week six growth spurt (not nearly as dramatic as the week two growth spurt) and so he woke up more than usual last night to eat…but he always goes right back to sleep, so no harm done. We got up at 8am and he has yet to really nap today, again, maybe an hour total all day. Eventually he will get so tired that he will have to sleep, swing or no swing, but I don’t feel like I have really accomplished much around the house yesterday or today because I count on his naps for me to have the time for things like hanging out laundry and showering, etc. A lot of other things I can do with him in the Moby, but again, I don’t want him to get used to sleeping with me holding him and he normally falls asleep in the Moby, so I have been avoiding that also. Things like washing dishes is always dificult in the Moby, mainly because I am so short that he ends up bumping against the edge of the counter which is uncomfortable for him. My arms are also short enough that it can be dificult for me to reach the faucet when I have to account for the extra space he creates between me and the sink ( I also had this problem while pregnant with him, go figure.).

So, as I said, yesterday was fairly unproductive. I did wash and hang out a load of diapers (non-negotiable, the diapers MUST be washed!). Instead, while listening to him fuss for three hours straight (no exageration), I discovered some great blogs and spent way more time than I should have reading post after post. Here are a couple of my favorites:

www.raisingarrow.net

www.inashoe.com  this is my personal favorite, because she adds a lot of humor to her writing

www.raisingolives.com

All of these are written by Christian ladies who are wives and moms who homeschool. They have lots of great tips on large family living, homeschooling, cooking, organizing, parenting, etc. I would love for my blog to be half as cool as any one of these! I have found a lot of great motivational and encouraging info. KimC, mother of 10 and author of In a Shoe, has some great posts about procrastination that I really liked. I find it encouraging to know that a mom of such a large family struggles with some of the same things that I do and still makes it work…maybe there is hope for me yet! 🙂

Settled At Last

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Finally! …that must be what all my readers are saying after such a long gap between posts. At least, that is what they would be saying, if I had readers who noticed the long gap between posts….Oh, well!

 

We are more or less settled into the new, old house. (New to us but built in the 60’s.) It has been quite a journey with many ups and downs, (and we still have water problems!), but we are enjoying being back close to the city. The first thing I did upon returning was to renew my Tae Kwon Do training and I am loving it. My husband, likewise, began training for the first time and is always asking me questions about technique and form and timing, etc. We are hoping to get a stoop built on the side of the house and fence in the back yard for our girls, this weekend. There is still one bedroom that needs to be unpacked and organized, but the majority of the house is put together the way we want it. I am planning on getting some chickens as soon as we get the fence up. Also, I have been riding my horses some and trying to get in the habit of grooming them regularly. They deperately need the exercise and grooming. The farrier is coming next week and I hope they behave, but both of them have cracks in their hooves which need to be fixed before they can be ridden much.

Between the house and all the work on the well we have been doing, I haven’t had as much time as I had hoped to spend on my hobbies. I have completed a quilt top this month and just need to baste and quilt it. I plan on sending it to my Great-grandmother for her birthday in October. I have also cut the fabric for a quilt for my nephew and was even able to make progress on a king size quilt I started peicing 4 years ago and haven’t yet finished. I have another queen size that is just waiting to be quilted also and I have no idea where I will find the time to do all of this. Of course, it would be easier if my sewing machine would cooperate, but it’s on the fritz again and I keep threatening to buy a new one. My husband just started a new job and I have been talking with a number of perspective clients of my own, as well, so hopefully I will be able to afford a new machine sometime soon.

That’s all for now.

vigor and strength

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Hello to my faithful followers…all two of you! 🙂 I haven’t posted in a while…been sick and busy and traveling, but I’m here now and feeling better, thank you Lord!

 

Proverbs 31: 17 “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

 

I have talked before about my lack of motivation and inherent laziness, so I won’t harp on that again. Though, this verse, once again, points out that a wife of noble character should go about her work with a sense of purpose and not complaining. Working vigorously does not mean that you get up and start a load of dishes then sit down on the computer for two hours as a break from the “work” you just did…yes, I am guilty!  This is a no-excuses kind of work ethic, where laundry isn’t something you dread, it is a God-given calling, to care for your family to the best of your ability. This, in and of itself, is serving God because God puts a high value on family. But I said I wasn’t going to talk about that…

 

“…her arms are strong for her tasks.” This is the part of the verse that gets me. We have a lot of preconceptions about the women of the Bible and what it would be like to live in that time period. Women had no rights. They couldn’t own property, they couldn’t work outside the house (other than prostitution) and they had to do a lot of “women’s work” with no help from the men. I don’t know about you, but I very much appreciate my husband’s willingness to clean a bathroom or hang out a load of clothes or clean up after dinner. I think we tend to see the women of the Bible as people to be pitied. But this verse tells me, that although they may not have had the right to vote, or even to speak to a non-related male in public, they were not weak women.

You don’t have to watch much TV (and I don’t) to see a commercial for “scrubless” bathroom cleaner, or some new product that does “twice the work in half the time.” We are a culture where time is money and we don’t want to spend any more time doing something than we have to. About a month ago I decided I was going to scrub my kitchen floors. I got down on my hands and knees and went to town. About ten minutes into it, my knees hurt from the hard floor and my arms were sore from scrubbing. As I recounted this to a friend later that day she asked me why I would do such a thing, I sweep and mop…why would I want to waste all that time scrubbing? My answer…because I had never done it before. I felt better for having done it, more satisfied with the cleanliness of my kitchen, even if she couldn’t tell the difference. But my arms were not “strong for my task” because I have a Swiffer mop and a Dyson vacuum and all these products and commercials telling me that I shouldn’t put any more effort or energy into cleaning or cooking than absolutely necessary. Frankly, I disagree. There is a level of satisfaction you get from doing something the “old fashioned way” that you don’t get after vacuuming. I will continue to scrub my floors…but I’m not throwing away my Swiffer either…

 

I fear that we as a culture are looking for a time and energy saving way to God as well. We like the 10 minute devotionals we can read over breakfast and then we are done for the day. If you are looking for something more; a deeper knowledge of God and His word, then I highly recommend Kay Arthur’s Inductive Bible Study series. There are different types of studies, some require 30 mins a day and some an hour or more. I have completed one and working on a second and very much enjoy it. I find the rewards worth the time required.

 

No shortcuts. Only one way to God…Jesus.

healthy habits = healthy life

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I am very tempted to apologize for not posting in the past couple of weeks…but I won’t. The next verse in Proverbs 31 is verse 15:

 

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

 

With the recent time change, getting up while it is still dark doesn’t ask that much of me, though it is still not easy. I don’t care if I have slept for 12 hours or 30 minutes, getting out of bed while it is dark outside is not easy. As I have confessed before, I struggle to stay motivated. Recently, I have found a very good source of motivation, namely, my husband and I have applied to be foster parents and are beginning the process of certification. So, when I am feeling lazy or struggling to get out of bed in the morning, I think of what life will be like when we have children living here. When I was growing up, I thought my mom loved to get up really early in the morning. She was always up before me and had breakfast ready before waking me. It never occurred to me that she got up early just so she could get some chores done before the kids were up; or that we would have been late if she hadn’t already had breakfast ready. I want to be that mom too, and I find it difficult to see myself in that role, because I can’t drag myself out of bed on time, how am I supposed to get kids up and ready for school? So, I have been trying to get up without grumbling and begin the day by helping my husband get off to work and not making him late by laying in bed and making it more difficult for him to get up.  But motivation is only the beginning… for any of you fellow lazy housewives: check out this website www.flylady.com. It’s a little corny, but it provides babysteps for those of us lacking motivation to start getting our houses in order. As she says, “Motivation is what gets you started, habits are what keep you going.”

 

Go forth and create good habits! 🙂