Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stay-at-home missionary

My blog is not usually a place where I get preachy, but from time to time, God impresses on me something that I like to share.
I a mom of four little boys, and wife to a husband who is technically unemployed (although there has been scarcely a day since he lost his job that God has not provided work for him to do somewhere).

As thankful as I am for my current place in life, it can be stressful! I am realizing as I get older just how much stress can affect my physical well-being if I let it- tension headaches, achy muscles and generally feeling blah. It also doesn't help my relationship with my kids when I am uptight all the time. These past few weeks I feel like I have been blaming my kids for my neck aches and grumpiness.

To fix this problem, I have been trying to get up early enough to have some quiet time, a time to do a little exercise and stretching so I can face the hungry hordes in a more relaxed frame of mind. But in a small house, it is difficult to get up early without waking everyone in the process. I was so determined this morning to do my exercise, drink my coffee, read my Bible in peace and quiet that when the kids all came cheerfully tumbling out of bed right when I had taken a seat, an hour ahead of normal time, I was not a happy camper. I told them in a none too friendly voice that if they were going to be awake, they couldn't ask for breakfast, they couldn't make a peep, and they had to sit still on the couch for half an hour while I did my yoga. You can guess how well that went. By the end of my "relax" time, I was more keyed up than ever. I kept asking God why, when it was surely a good thing to seek quiet time in the morning, he was not letting me have it.

But as so often happens, I stumbled across this little blurb while I grabbed a minute to read some Elisabeth Elliot. She had found this passage written many years ago by a missionary, and at first I was going to pass over it, thinking it didn't apply to me since I wasn't on the mission field, but thankfully I remembered in time that I most certainly am on a mission field. It read,

"I am finding out that it is a mistake to plan to get through a certain amount of work in a certain time. It almost always ends in disappointment and frustration, besides not being the right way to go about it. It makes one impatient of interruptions and delay. Just as you are beginning, someone comes along to sit with you and have a chat! You might think it hardly possible to be impatient and put out where there is such an opportunity for spreading God's love, but it is. It may be just at mealtime, or you are writing a letter to catch the mail, or you were just going out for some much needed exercise. Surely good things in themselves. But better still, spreading the gospel through your actions, and I think it is well to cultivate an attitude of mind which will enable one to welcome the intruder from the heart at any time. "No admittance except on business" scarcely shows a true missionary spirit."

There is nothing so humbling as realizing you are going about something the totally wrong way, but nothing so encouraging as realizing that God shows these things to you just when you need them. I hope this is a help to anyone out there, struggling on their own private mission field.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Indulge me....

...whilst I share some more James papers.
Sorry, I just find them a bit hilarious.

I had a conference with his teacher the other day, just to see how he was doing, and she showed me the first page of his in-class journal.

And the lists he makes, well, as I have said before, he is not very subtle. His teacher also noted that he is a boy who tells it like it is- he knows what he wants and isn't afraid to say it. For instance, Pre-Halloween, he left this list for me in a place where he knew I couldn't miss it.

And as soon as Halloween was over, I discovered this one on my pillow.

I have yet to figure out how to comply with his snow request.

And then I found this random paper on the floor.

One of his personal to do lists, I guess. I particularly like his first and second items- "Buy money" and "Get more". I also think it charming that he put "get a lollipop" next to "buy an i-pod" as seemingly equal goals. Ahh, childhood. At what age do we give up the dreams of traveling in a rocket, or having a "theater ride." ???

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just Etienne

I was toying around with our new camera the other day. I am no photographer, so I am always trying to figure out a way to capture the kid's activities without blurry results. I have yet to figure it out, but I had fun taking these still shots. I ended up liking them better in black and white. I was kind of hidden behind the bedroom door while they watched one of their favorite movies, which turned out to be an ideal time to catch them sitting still! Do you ever just sit and watch your kids? It can be pretty entertaining sometimes.
I also realized that I haven't blogged much about my second born lately, so here are some pics of just him that will tell you better than words about his little personality.