Monday, July 28, 2014

In Other News.......

Right now my life feels like it's going in a million directions.

My son is getting married - at my house -  one week from today - and it's "crunch" time.

My husband gave his notice at his job last week and will be starting a new job, just a few weeks after the wedding.    His new job will be extremely challenging, yet with a great company that has a great reputation, which we count as very valuable.

Right around the time he starts that new job (did I mention he will be working from home until he finds new office space?) school starts and I have to be ready with curriculum, schedules, etc.

In the meantime, Collin, David and I, all need a few specific clothing items for the wedding, which have to be bought this week, which means a shopping trip.....with men...  (ugggg). 

I want to take a treat to a friend who just had surgery, so I need to squeeze that in somewhere this week.

Ted needs a quick dentist appointment for a wisdom tooth that is killing him.  (Did I mention his wedding is in a week from NOW?)!!

I have to make a Doggie Daycare appointment for our little Banjo, so he can go there on the day of the wedding.   Otherwise, he would be barking through the entire ceremony.

I need new glasses.

I got a new phone AND updated my computer and now my picture taking system is not flowing like I like it to, which means my blogging system is not flowing like I like it to.  Which means I'm not blogging like I need to.  Which means I feel weird.



In other news........

We took a much needed break Saturday night and went out to the Cowboy Church to hear our friends play some old gospel music.   Little did we know that they would call David on stage to play the last song of the night!

L to R:  Larry Shelton, Huey Buxton, Britt Godwin, and David

Of course, Britt and David play together all the time for The Altus Brother's band (day job), but David's never played with B.B. & Co. and it was quite intimidating, to say the least!

He did a great job playing the bass on I Saw The Light, and he didn't faint or mess up, which is always good in a room full of people!

It was a nice change of pace, after a hectic week.

Yesterday I had David go to Super Walmart with me (as my protector).   I don't like to shop with a passenger, but Super Walmart is kind of a sketchy place and in years past, every time I would have a big load of groceries, some freaky man would walk up to me in the parking lot, either asking for money or trying to sell me perfume or something.   I knew if I took my bodyguard, no one would be dumb enough to approach me.    As it was, David got to see a guy with a mullet and a perm, all on the same head, so that made his day.   The only thing better would have been a picture of said hair, but I guess David didn't get his phone out in time.   Maybe next time.

I discovered that grocery shopping on the week before your son gets married, can be an emotional thing.

Every few aisles, every few items I would pick up, made me think of Ted and the fact that he wouldn't be there to eat my groceries.     I would see items that I normally buy for him and would get sad.   Then I picked up a carton of eggs, looked at the expiration date and immediately thought "Oh, that's after Ted leaves!"  Waaaaaaaa!!   I've turned into a lunatic.

When we got home, we forced invited Collin to watch an episode of the Duggars, in which they went to Colorado Springs to speak on the Focus on the Family show.    The family got to visit Whit's End, which is from the radio series Adventures in Odyssey

My boys have grown up listening to Adventures in Odyssey.   We literally own every single episode, which is about 57 cd's, each containing about 4-6 stories.   Call us freaks.

Anyway.....so we were sitting on the couch, watching the Duggar children meet the characters from the show and I started getting all weepy, thinking of the fact that Ted is 21 and that's how long we have been listening to those cd's (except some were cassettes back then).  I wonder if he and Alex would like their own copies (haha) as a wedding gift. 

So, the moral of this very long story, is that this is the week before I say goodbye to my son, who has been with me for 21 years and not only will my grocery shopping have to change, but every date will remind me of the time he got married and I will be crying while I'm buying eggs from now on.

Did I mention I'm a lunatic?



P.S.  Please don't miss the humor in this post.  I promise....I'm not over here in a chocolate induced stupor, with kleenex all around me, looking at baby pictures!   This is just a humorous little look at my life right now, but I couldn't be happier for Ted and this new season of life :)




Friday, July 25, 2014

What's In a Name?


This is a picture of Chuck's BBQ - the best BBQ in South Texas, in my opinion.   I will drive out of my way to eat there or pick up a plate of their sausage, beans and potato salad, and take it home for a Saturday night dinner.   It's that good!

But this sign says a lot more that just "Come eat good food!"

This sign has Chuck's name on it and Chuck must have had a good enough reputation to think that people would respond well to a restaurant with his name on the sign.     I mean, afterall, the town has one stop light, so everyone has to know who Chuck is!

Your name is important.    It's the thing that identifies you and your reputation.

When people say your name, others respond, based on what they either know about you or what they've heard

Your name is always followed by the identity that is attached to it.


"A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
Proverbs 22:1


I've only had to get involved in my kid's friendship problems twice.....once for Ted and once for Collin - both times had to do with their reputation being threatened.  

Yes, I know!  That goes against the "wise parenting protocol", but I don't care!  When it comes to my kid's reputation, I will fight for it!

I don't get involved in my husband's business problems.....until it comes to something that starts affecting his reputation.  

If the company you work for is not doing something right and your name is out there, associated with that company, it's your reputation that's being scarred.     Do not take this lightly!

There are many companies in my husband's line of work, that have made names for themselves and not in a good way!

The minute you hear that "so and so" works for one of those companies, you immediately wonder if that person is involved in all the negative aspects, as well.    It's just a fact and the way it is.  

The way I see it, Proverbs 22:1 says it all.......a good name is better than the paycheck!

You can always get another job, but you can't get another name (unless you go into the witness protection program, but that's a whole different thing...)

Your NAME is worth saving!    Your REPUTATION is worth saving! 

Guard your name and your reputation.  Be a person that can hold your head up high and know that your actions are not scarring your name in some respect.

Of course, there will always be someone who doesn't like you, no matter what kind of care you have taken, but you can't please everyone.   

But, at the end of the day, if you have lived according to God's standards, had ethical business or friendship practices, and have done your best to show goodness and kindness to others, your reputation will stand the test and your name will be praised, instead of scarred.  

Names carry on through generations - either in a good way or a bad one. 

What does your name say about you?



***To my fellow believing friends***yes, our identity is in Christ, but our actions either shed a positive light on Christianity or a negative one.    And again, what's your name saying about you?


Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Your Duty


Have you ever heard someone say they want to let their children figure out "religion" on their own?

Maybe they were raised in a Christian home, but now that they're older, they don't want to "push" their own kids to believe what they believe, so instead, they will just leave them to search it out for themselves.

To me, that's the equivalent of saying "I'm going to leave my child on this street corner and hope they find their way back home."    It's irresponsible.

If you have kids, then it's your duty to teach them about life.    

It's your duty to care for them, feed them, shelter them and prepare them for the world.

Did you know, that as a Christian, it's also your responsibility to teach them about God?


The Bible is full of scriptures that tell us to teach our children about God - 
"as we sit, as we walk down the road, 
as we lie down and when we get up." (Deuteronomy 6:7)

More specifically......

"What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us,
we will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

So the next generation would know them, 
even the children yet to be born,
and they, in turn, would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands."
(Psalm 78:3-4, 6-7)


 Not only does this scripture command you to pass your knowledge of God onto your own children, but to the next generations to come.....meaning your grandchildren!  

Yes!  You are even responsible for making sure that your grandkids know the wonders of the Lord and the importance of following Him.

In the older generations, this would not have been a question - parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles - all would have shared their faith with the kids and it would have been just a natural way of living.

But, now.....we've become so liberal in our thinking, that we don't want to offend anyone or push our beliefs on anyone  - even our kids -  so we choose not to influence them in the way religion.

However, they are being influenced by someone, whether you share your beliefs or not. 

Some believe in little statues, some believe you can worship trees, some believe that you can kill the "infidel" and gain your way into Heaven and then others choose to believe in nothing.

But, as Christians, we don't have the option of not sharing our faith with our children.   God commands that we do!

It doesn't have to be legalistic.   You don't have to force them to read their Bible for three hours each night or have them sitting in a pew 5 nights a week.

Do as the Lord says and talk to them as you go about life, as you walk along the way, as you build a relationship with them, and as you face trials in life.   

Apply God's goodness, his faithfulness, his statutes, to every day situations.

Teach your children to pray and wait and listen for God's voice in their daily lives.

Tell them of the amazing things he's done for you; of the times that he's rescued you from hardships and trials.

Tell of his love and how it never fails.

This is how you pass your faith on to the next generation.    This is how God's goodness becomes known among your family.

Live it - tell it - share it.

It's your duty.







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sunday's Kind of Country

One of the greatest privileges David and I have is our connection to so many great people in the music business.   We really count it a blessing to know them and call them friends, and get to witness  their talent and creativity, day after day.  

One such friend has been in David's life since high school and is now a huge success in the radio business, with his amazing show called Sunday's Kind of Country.

Photo property of SKOC
 
His name is Robby Lynn and he's an award winning radio personality, producing a great show each week, that is now heard in over 40 radio markets around the country, including Nashville! 

His music is Country in sound and Christian in message, which makes a great combination; one of which I wish we had every single day on radio, (which I've mentioned to him several times).

Knowing Robby - he's probably got something in the works, as we speak!

Sunday's Kind of Country is upbeat, uplifting, and the best of Christian Country current hits, local artists on their way up, and classic melodies that take you back a little.    It's pretty much anything you need to set your Sunday morning on a good track. 


 Photo property of Viva Southeast Texas

 
Robby not only plays us great music on Sunday mornings, but he offers a Sunday's Kind of Country TV show on Sunday nights, plus is about to host his 2nd Annual JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT event, in Vidor, Texas, which is a great night of listening to famous songwriters tell their stories and play their music.    

The songwriter's night is a direct link to Robby's new endeavor  called Sunday's Kind of Country Giving House Foundation, which gives to local children in need.  


Nothing makes a song come alive, like hearing the writer tell you what inspired it and how it came to be.    And, to know that the proceeds of this night all go to a foundation for helping children, makes it that much better!

David and I attended last year's Songwriter's night and still count it as one of the best events we've ever been to!   We are definitely looking forward to this year's event in September!

All in all, it's a great privilege to count Robby as one of our friends.   We have him over for coffee and dinner sometimes and we love catching up on all the music news and hearing about his next big idea.    He's creative and innovative and I'm predicting that he will be around for years to come; bringing us great music and new events to feed our love of song.

If you get a chance to tune in on Sunday mornings, do so!  You will be inspired!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Go to www.skocnow.com for information on all that's happening on Sunday's Kind of Country, plus, follow along on Facebook for daily updates.

If you want to listen live on Sunday mornings, go HERE and find the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page.   The program airs from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. locally and at various times around the country.












Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ramblings of a Mother-in-law-to-be!

It seriously bothers me not to come here and write each day, but sometimes it's all I can do to keep dog paddling my way through every day life!

This weekend was all about prepping the outside of the house for the upcoming wedding.



All the plants were pulled out of the flower beds, in order to save them from being bleached, as we washed down the house.    Thankfully, they are all in galvanized tubs, which made it very easy to pull them out and set them aside, while we worked.    Well....correction....while the men worked.




As you can see from the lattice at the bottom of the house, everything grows a little fungus-y and moldy, during the humid months, so it all had to be bleached and scrubbed.

David and the boys did a great job and now it looks like a newly painted house!

When they work outside on Saturdays, I am usually inside, keeping the food hot and ready, plus catching up on laundry, cleaning, and various other glamorous duties, of course.

Lately I've been trying to teach myself a new way of loading my pictures onto the computer, from my phone.     It's complicated.    I am not a technical genius (I know you're shocked), so I usually just jump in with both feet and try to figure something out, rather than read all the mumbo jumbo information online.    This leads to me only getting half the instructions and spending copious amounts of time trying to find out where my photos disappeared to, inside the computer.   Such has been my day today.

Otherwise, I've been doing nothing short of trying to find a "mother of the groom" dress outfit.

I don't do dresses.

I used to wear dresses and then one day I decided I wanted to be free.   Free from slips and hose (really?) and uncomfortable shoes and worrying if my slip was showing or my dress was hiked up in the back.   It's too much stress!  

So....much to my mother-in-law's chagrin, I will not be wearing a dress to the wedding.    You'll have to wait for the photos and the big reveal.   That's IF I can figure out how to load the pictures!

In other news, the "kids" got an apartment and we are doing the happy dance!  I was sweatin' the thought of them moving in here, right after their honeymoon!   I think they'd rather be homeless!
I'm going with that thought too :)

All in all, the wedding plans are coming along.  Short of having to bake 120 cookies, it's all good!

In 13 days I will be a mother-in-law......

I'm basically speechless.

Thanks for reading my rambling today.

I'll try to be more significant tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Growth Means Change and Change Means Growth

Alexandra (Alex) & Ted



Well, things are starting to change here at our house.

We are getting the house ready for a wedding that will soon take place.....right here!

That's right!  In a few short weeks, my carport will be transformed into a beautiful, rustic scene of burlap, mason jars, lights, old doors, flowers and hay!

And, oh how life is about to change!

This young man that has filled my life for 21&1/2 years (plus 9 months), will soon be a husband and he's fallen in love with a girl that we all loved, right from the beginning. 

Alex is an amazing young lady and I truly could not have picked anyone better to be my daughter-in-law.   She loves Ted and she loves the Lord, and she has a sweet, sweet spirit.

They are about to step into one of the scariest times in life - marriage, supporting yourself, new job, new responsibilities - but I think they are up for the challenge.   

So far, they have handled all the details of planning the wedding, finding an apartment, getting the license and writing a budget, all on their own, and I'm proud of them.    Yes, all the parents have offered advice and words of wisdom and guidance, but they've gone out and done the work and shown maturity and discipline and that makes me proud.  

But, not only is their life changing, but ours, as well.

I'm about to have only one child in this house.   It's going to be really strange for a while.

But, change is good and gaining a godly young woman into our family is a huge blessing! 

I think I will miss my talks with Ted most of all.   But, we will grow into a new season of our relationship and I know I'm going to be so proud of him, as I see him caring for Alex and growing into that husband and father, that I know he can be.    He's had an excellent role model in his dad, so I'm really not worried about that!

It will be strange, not checking my clock at night; wondering when he will pull into the driveway and thanking God that he got home safely.   That will be Alex's responsibility now.   

But, Collin is now on the verge of wanting his license, so my peace won't last long.   I will be, once again, checking the clock, looking out the window and praying hard, for that car to pull in to the safe place, away from the world.

It's the whole "bird out of the nest" feeling for me.   

I know Ted's ready and I know he'll survive, but my instinct still wants to give him food and shelter and watch over him.

So, I've told him that I'm coming over once a month, bearing food and gifts, just to make myself feel better.   

He paused and said "Once a month?........I guess that will be ok."

And, life goes on....

Change is good and it brings with it - growth.

And, growth is good.

 
 














 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Are You a Risk Taker?

David and I have discovered a new show on TV called New House, New Life.   We love it!

Although it sounds like just another house show on TV, it's really about risk taking, which speaks to a certain part of my heart!

While I am not a risk taker in the sense of jumping out of a perfectly good and working airplane or eating something that still has eyeballs, I am a risk taker in the way that I love change and will leave behind something comfortable, for a new adventure, if it's the right time.

That's exactly what New House, New Life is all about - mostly people who work in the city and just get tired of the rat race.   They take a risk and pursue their dream of living a different life; usually half way across the country!  

Don't you love it?

This kind of thing makes me giddy with excitement!

(Oh, my poor husband!)

But, it's not just about leaving the hustle and bustle of the big city for a quiet life in the country.   Some of these people have dreams they want to pursue and rather than wait until retirement, they decide to risk it, while they can still see and walk. (hehehe)

And that leads right into my risky dream of living somewhere besides S.E.Texas! 

Yep! I have a dream of moving closer to my family (after 25 years) and living in a place that has beauty, as well as plenty to do!

This is my little dream town........Brenham, Texas!


Are you laughing yet?

Well, I'm not kidding!

After going there in May for a field trip, we both fell in love with the area.   Not only is it absolutely beautiful, but it's farm and country and junk and little cafes and rolling hills and cows.    

 And, it feels like home.




This dream won't come true for several more years, but it's something we are praying about and working toward and we are really excited!

Unlike the people on the TV show who leave Manhattan to open a winery in Napa Valley, or the couple who left Hollywood to play in the snow in Aspen, we will only be going about 3 hours up the road - still in Texas, but that's all good!    I love Texas and I never want to be anywhere but here.

However, we will reap the excitement of open, rolling hills, Antiques Week in Round Top, and all the Blue Bell we can eat, just down the road!    It's worth waiting for!

We are only in the process of looking at land, but it's so exciting and it's a goal to work toward.


Dreams are what keep us living!  Without dreams and goals, we are bored and stagnant.   The older I get, the more I keep saying to myself (and to David), that "Life's Too Short"!   I want to live out my dreams (at least the ones that makes sense) and I don't want to be one of those that looks back one day and realizes they never took a risk.

So, while I might not skydive or eat bugs or wear a bikini on the beach......I will live in Brenham one day and I will be proud of myself for not giving up on my dream!

What about you?    Are you a risk taker?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Secretly Want to be Michelle Duggar (or at least have a pantry like hers)!

Ok, I said it!  I secretly want to be Michelle Duggar......or at least have a pantry like hers!

I mean, it's like Extreme Couponing, but without the whole couponing thing!

Photo courtesy of the Duggar Family blog


No, I don't want to have 19 kids and no, I don't agree with her wardrobe choices, but I do admire so many other things about Michelle and her family.


This family is controversial, at best, just for having 19 children... well, and their modest clothing -  the skirts, in particular. 

But, that's all secondary (to me) as I watch them and read their books, because there are so many other qualities about their lifestyle that I admire.

I love their sense of family; the way they do everything together.   They have truly built a life around their kids and their family, and the values they have passed down, while doing that, will go far into the future generations of their household.  

They have taught their kids how to work and serve others, which can be a rare sight these days.

They have taught their kids how to be responsible for their younger siblings and not just look out for themselves.

They are charitable and not in debt, which is admirable, considering their grocery budget alone is $3000 per month!    Have I mentioned that I'm in love with their pantry? 

Although they maintain their clothing and modesty guidelines, they have friends and family that don't share their convictions and yet, you never feel as if they are judgmental toward others.    Which leads me to their attitudes......

I love the graciousness that exudes from Michelle.    Let me just say.......I was not born this gentle!

She will admit (in her writing), that she wasn't always patient and gentle.    She actually had to work on that!  Gasp!  Change takes work!  Imagine that!

She says in her latest book, that she had problems yelling, just like the rest of us, but she was determined to change and she did - with hard work.    

So, that sweetness that you see on TV, came with effort and a heart's desire to be different.

Of course, I admire her tenacity!  I mean, I have two kids....count them....TWO!!   And, yet, I've had trouble handling them, at times!  (What a wimp.)

And, out of necessity comes great organizational skills, which is what got me thinking about this post in the first place!

Oh, to have a PANTRY and a LAUNDRY ROOM like hers!  (Yes, this may border on coveting a little).

I love the way they put a garage door on one side of the pantry, so they can back their van up to the door and unload the groceries right onto the shelves.   Be still my heart!!

And, let's talk about the laundry room.....oh!!

Eight industrial machines, bins and baskets for sorting, one huge closet where you can hang the clothing as it is ready and you never have to carry baskets to individual rooms and yell at your kids to put away their clothes!    Sounds like Heaven to me!

Organizing is one of those things that makes me happy....kind of like men are with tools and cars.    

You can NEVER be too organized!

Another aspect of having this large of a family is that you must learn to delegate, which I need to take notes on.  (I'm really bad about just doing everything myself, to my liking.)

But, in a family of 21, there is no way the mom can be picky about all the chores being done to her standards.   Sometimes good is good enough!

However, this is why her kids work so well.   They have been delegated to their certain areas of the home and they own it!

Her older girls each have their "jurisdictions", as they call them, which means they have certain areas that are theirs to tend to.  

For instance - one has the task of packing for the little kids, every time they go on a trip.   That's a huge task!

Another has kitchen duty and another has the job of checking all the school work.

The boys probably have duties with Jim Bob (the dad) and I'm sure the little kids help out too.

In other words, it's a team effort!   And mom keeps her sanity!

The family also runs on the "Buddy System", which means that each older boy or girl is in charge of several younger ones.    Whether it's helping them around the house, with school, or when they are out in public; each older child looks after the younger group, so that everyone is accounted for and safe.

I love this, because it teaches siblings to care for their brothers and sisters and it teaches responsibility. 

I've seen this in friends that I have, who have a large number of kids.   They seem to be closer and more responsible for each other, which is a great way to raise your family. 

Overall, this family impresses me.   

No matter what turns you off about them, you have to admire their Christian walk, their kindness, their generosity, their love for others and for children.      At least, those are all the things I admire about them.   

Well, those things and........

the pantry!













 


 

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Little Glimpse......Maybe


 This past week, I got to see a little glimpse (maybe) into the future of my youngest, Collin.

It's no secret that he was going to follow in the musical footstep of the rest of the family, but Collin has something more going on......performing.    He is definitely a performer!


 



 When my oldest son, Ted, was young, we always knew he would be in music.   But, there were days when I would look at Collin and panic a little (ridiculous) because I really couldn't see what God had for this boy.  

However,  if I add all the little fragmented pieces of memory together, I guess the fact that each and every day of his little life, he would come out of his room dressed as a different character.......then it starts to make sense!


 



 He was always acting and making up things to go with his character for the day.   He was always performing!

 


 So last week, when he went to a camp associated with the homeschool co-op he attends, we were not prepared, yet not surprised either, at the remarkable job he (and everyone else) did at acting, singing, dancing, and performing.     It was absolutely amazing and incredible!


 

 Of course, being that he attends a Fine Arts Academy co-op, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised at the talent.    Afterall, these are kids that are drawn to Fine Arts.    But, I think it was the quality and the amount of work they put in, all in one week, that amazed all of us parents.




 The kids were allowed to choose either Film Production or Musical Theater, for their focus for the week.   

The Film kids would write, film, and edit their own short segment stories and the Musical Theater kids would obviously sing and dance.

Well, Collin signed up for Film, since he loves the technical side of it all, but by Monday afternoon, they asked if he would consider doing both Film and Music, to add another boy to the musical routines.    Of course, he said yes!

The next thing I know, he's having to practice Jail House Rock all week!


 Here's Collin rocking the Jail House Rock!


He was a natural at the Film and Music and he even learned to Swing dance, which he fell in love with and wants to do again!



 All in all, it was a great week and Collin made many new friends; especially the team of Artios interns that led the camp.
 
Bethany, Tyler, Jessie, Noah, Babs, Ben


These young people were so professional and equally talented and they produced such an amazing Showcase by the end of the week, that we all would have stayed to watch it again, had they offered!

So, yes!  I got a little glimpse of something Collin might do in the future and it was good.   Who knows how God will use his talent, but it's definitely there!

I was really proud of my little Spider Man, Buzz LightYear, Mr. Incredible costume-wearing-guy!

He's all grown up and still entertaining us.    Oh, boy, is he!



***Artios Outpost is a week long camp put on by a team of interns who have all attended (and some have graduated) from Artios Academy, which is a Fine Arts Christian Homeschool co-op. 

Artios has 5 campuses currently and 5 more opening around the U.S. in the Fall of 2015.   

Artios offers History, Music, Drama, and Art, plus different electives at each campus, as well as a few more core classes, depending on which location you attend.     

You can find all the locations and course descriptions at Artios Academy.






Thursday, July 10, 2014

Teaching from Rest - A Change in Perspective

I've been spending my time this week entrenched in this book, while Collin has been at camp each day.


I can't even begin to say enough about the wisdom in this book!

I had actually set this week aside, in order to work on lesson plans for the next few months.   Collin wants to start a few subjects in the summer and my intention was to put together a schedule and plan for those few subjects and make a tentative plan for the rest of the subjects, which we would start in late August.

I had this book on hold, saving it for this week, as inspiration while I was doing my planning.

Little did I know, it would change my entire outlook on how I've been doing things over the past 16 years!

You know.....I'm a planner by nature.   I like to plan, make lists, check it twice (or more), check off boxes, revise the plan, and on and on it goes.     This action basically goes on year-round in my house, whether in household duties, homeschooling, menu planning or budgeting.   I'm always trying to find that next-best-way of doing things.    It's exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time!

But, there are consequences to living this way; one being that I never feel satisfied with the plan.   Well, at first I do, but then, if something seems not quite right, I will revise the entire thing, in order to get to that state of perfection.    I'm pretty sure they have a label for this!  And, I know you're thinking of it right now!

However, after reading this book, I can see some of what's going on and it hinges on several things:
One - I take responsibility for many things that I shouldn't, and
Two - I need reminding that life is about the journey and not just the destination.

The older I've gotten and the older my children have gotten, the more I stay busy and I've forgotten how to rest.    Seriously, I've forgotten how to just enjoy my life.

That sounds so depressing and I don't mean it to be, but it's really the truth and I blame it on society and our never-ending-pursuit-of-doing-all-things!

So, even in this amazing privilege of teaching my children, I've turned it into more of a checklist of things to accomplish, rather than a beautiful time of just nurturing, enjoying, marveling, and encouraging my child.  

As homeschooling moms, we all start out with those things in mind and we really want our days to reflect all of that.    But, the reality is, we start looking to the outside; start comparing our children to other's, our methods to other's, our schedules, our choices, and before we even know what's happened, we are running our homes like the local public school and we're burned out and wondering what in the world we're doing!

In Teaching from Rest, Sarah reminds me that this person that I'm creating all of these plans for - this son of mine - this precious soul - is just that......a soul that I am nurturing, not a robot I'm programming.    

As the old saying goes.......I'm not just filling a bucket here.    This is a living soul that I'm pouring life into and it needs to look a little more like love and time, rather than boxes on a checklist.

And, oh, how I wish all public school teachers could read this, as well!

 These are little souls that we're teaching!  Quit making their life about TESTS!  Quit laying so much stress on 9 year olds!   (And, you know that subject could be discussed forever and that's not what I'm writing about today, but you get the point!)


Moms, you only get this ONE chance - maybe 18 years - to do this thing!

What do you want to look back and see, as those years you were with your child?

Are you going to pat yourself on the back for all the sentences you diagrammed?

Will you remember fondly the cold, dry facts you forced them to learn for that test you thought you had to give, only to find out later that they don't remember a thing?

Or will you look back at the times you sat and read together; talking over the subject of the day, or doing that thing in life that you did together?

As she says in the book, we throw a lot of subjects and to-do's at our kids, but they are about an inch deep, verses having depth and meaning and mastery.

In other words, what we consider giving them a "well-rounded education" because we crammed 20 things into their brains throughout the week, should be replaced by deeper, more meaningful nuggets of truth and life and time spent really learning about something.

When your child looks back on their time with you, they will not remember the dry knowledge of English and Math.   They will remember the time you spent talking and walking and doing and going and investing in them.

To this day, my 21 year old, homeschooled graduate, still treasures the memories he has of our time in the livingroom - he on the couch, Collin in a chair - and me reading and discussing History, reading our devotional book about how brothers should get along, and starting our day out with prayer.    Yes, he still remembers doing Algebra at his desk, but I bet he doesn't really remember what he learned.  But, if you ask him about a certain story we read or trip we took or even just the talks we had, his memory would be much different.

The bottom line is this.....our kids need the basics - reading, writing, and yes, arithmetic!  But, everything else needs to be accompanied by relationship, life, meaning and wonder.  

Take the time to cut out the busy work that the schools give the poor kids in the classroom, and replace that stuff with LIFE.

Your kids will look back one day and those will be their memories of their school years and in the meantime, you will not be just another frazzled mom, checking off boxes everyday.

Your day with your children will have purpose and meaning and relationship and all the good that comes from those.

And, that is when you will be able to rest; when you can look back on your day and know that you didn't just fill a bucket, but you invested in a relationship and it made all the difference.