Monthly Archives: October 2011

To Do Lists

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For years I have lived in a world of lists.  Honestly as far back as I can remember I would make lists.  I know I watched my mom making her lists and how she would cross them off.  (I think she would say that I came into this world with a list and enjoyed checking off… being born 🙂 )  I always liked to add “extra” things I do to my list so I could cross them off.  It made me feel triumphant!

Motherhood made lists a lot harder.  Accomplishing even simple tasks were a struggle.  I really had lost control of my time and I had a lot more time than ever before since I was staying home.  A lot of mothering was and is reacting to life, new needs, new symptoms sometimes and new dynamics.  And I also got frustrated with myself and lists.  Nothing got crossed off some days and some weeks.  It created a current in me that I wasn’t being a good mom and that I was not going to ever catch up.  I would beat myself up so I just stopped writing it all down.  I had it in my head.  All lists… to-dos, to buy, to get done with my kids and to get at the grocery store.  It was not helpful and it was living in denial.  Because then all of a sudden BAM there was reality to hit me.  I wouldn’t get something important done, I would forget to call someone, I would let my kids down by running out of milk, etc.  So more of the beat myself kind of feeling.

So for years I lived like this.  But surviving without lists doesn’t work for me anymore.  I wasn’t completely away from lists.  Major events or ministry events were planned with lists and I could make those deadlines.  But a new era has dawned at our house.  I am back at making lists and working hard to cross them off.   But I have a better sense of balance now.  I break up the big projects into smaller pieces and I don’t beat myself up anymore!

It will all get done someday (or the night before if I have really procrastinated).  Usually if it has an * by it, it is done immediately.  It feels good to revisit a skill that is a talent and have structure again.  I know that deep down in me the recovering type A/first-born is giddy with delight saying, “Watch Out, I’m Back.”  Trying to keep balance as  my focal point and not let the doing get in the way of my living.

Do you have something that you have set aside because it brought you too much frustration?  What could you do to find balance in doing that again and not being so hard on yourself?

A Glue Gun and A Dream

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Endless possibilities…

Creative solutions…

Hours of scouring a site for new fresh ideas…

Wondering what I am talking about??  Those who have stumbled on http://www.pinterest.com know exactly what I am talking about.

Here are some of my recent wild and wondering searches: file folders, dish racks, Lego parties, hair bow holders, organization, spare ribs recipe, labels, Halloween costumes, lettering, free fonts, menu planners, cheap $5 dollar meals, and printable Dave Ramsey like envelopes… and that is what I can remember off the top of my head.

What is the appeal?  Same as the Crock Pot Girls on Facebook.  We want to hear from friends what they really like and what they have tried.  Pinterest lets you put a virtual “pin” in a bulletin board to keep your finds and ideas.  I think the concept is amazing.  I have always been a collector.  I rip pages out of magazines and then they go homeless for eons.  This is fun because I can sort and file them on what they are to me.  Then I can share them with my friends on Pinterest or directly on Facebook.

I know that this is an age of in your face marketing and internet craziness but I am happy for this new way to find creative resources without risking $8.99 on a creative magazine splurge. And I usually flip through once and find only one thing I may or may not try.  With Pinterest I can be inspired and amazed at what is out there on blogs and websites.  There are some amazingly resourceful people in the world.  Pinterest can gain them some views, subscribers and followers to their ideas and blogs.

So… if you ever have a minute (or actually an evening free) check out www.pinterest.com.   Sign up for your own virtual bulletin board and enjoy.  I like admiring others work and dreaming about doing, making, cooking, and designing 3% of what I see. 🙂

Good to see humans doing… and not just being!  Creativity can be cheap therapy!

Here is a blog that explains Pinterest… click on if you want to know more.

http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/2011/05/pinterest-a-beginners-guide.html

So dust off your glue guns and enjoy dreaming about being more creative.  (I am)

 

Raw Cookie Dough Addiction

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Seriously! I have a problem.  (well not a huge, tragic kind of problem… more of a struggle!)

But when I make cookies for my kids I have to now fight one of the most primal, unconscious, life-long acts of my existence.  I am a fan of raw cookie dough.  GASP!  I would guess you have sampled it before as well.  But I am brave enough to confess it!  I know I am not alone because the supporting evidence is in each grocery store… cookie dough ice cream and candy.  And of course ice cream and custard shops!

I have never been a Nestle Toll House whole roll kind of girl.  But from time to time when I am making homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies or Nestle Toll House cookies from a roll, I would nibble on the dough.  (Not the chips… just the dough)

It was naughty, it was impatient, and delicious.  Now I read warnings as I dip dough from our jumbo Nestle Toll House tub from Costco.  Unkind warnings.  And I know in my rational brain I need to heed their solemn advice.  They became more significant when I caught a new story a couple of years ago about at a very sick woman in Las Vegas.  She had eaten raw cookie dough that had E.coli.  (see story link below)  Her reaction was so severe and it made a lasting impression on me.  I stopped cold turkey.

So I get it.  Doesn’t make me very happy.  And of course my life will go on.

I am changing the next generation though because my children would never consider eating raw cookie dough.  So there!

(my favorite ice creams/concretes do have “cookie dough” because it is an acceptable way to feed my addiction)

New Story on E. coli.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/31/AR2009083103922.html

Interesting Nestle Toll House 81 ounce Costco tub:

Usually around $7.99 (and you can sometimes get a $2 coupon on the tub)

Each cookie is 120 calories (for a 1/2 inch ball)

Entire tub of cookies is 9720 calories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Deep Questions Today!

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Do you feel secure?

Do you feel taken care of?

Are you in a place of sustainability and stretching?

See, I warned you… deep questions!  They have woken up with me this morning.  Do you have days like that?  No clue why something  is on your heart or mind, but it is.  That happens to me sometimes and today these are mine.  (and now maybe yours)

I don’t feel worried or intimidated by these questions. Just using them as a mirror from my inner stirrings from my mediation time this morning. (which was 10  minutes of quiet while Rhett watched Chuggington)

Those questions can be looked at and tackled on many different levels.  And wow are they personal?!!?!?

For myself I am good.  Our family is blessed with day in and out normalcy.  And in a week were police are still searching for a missing baby, a family in my community had to say their earthly goodbye to their 3-year-old angel girl and other troubles of this world are rampant, I can firmly say we are good.

I think security needs to be awakened, nurtured and challenged.  I never want to feel so secure that I stop stretching myself to the path I should be trekking.  As for being taken care of, I love that verse from Matthew.  You know the one.  You have probably heard it, seen it needle pointed or on a journal somewhere.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Matthew 6:26   NIV

I see it in those places too.  But often when I look to the sky and see a flock of birds it stirs me to think of how God’s provision is so good.  When I put my faith in God’s plan and not my own, I am better.  If I turn over my worries for hope and faith, I am amazed.  Life isn’t promised to be easy.  I don’t feel that life is just how it happens though.  Mediation, prayers, and divine planning help us to be blessed and bless others.

I would agree that I’m in a place of sustaining and stretching.  It is a good place to be and challenge myself from.  I don’t claim or need perfection or happiness all the time.  But the give and take of life are a rhythm that I put in God’s hands.  So I can be released to be the me I was intended to be for my God, myself, my family and others that are in my life and path.

Unexpected Talent

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My daughter has asked me to teach her how to whistle no less than a million times in her short 6 years of life.  No, I didn’t keep track but it feels like a million.  Do you realize it is actually hard to teach someone (especially a determined child) to whistle?  I would say how, I would show her how and then I would whistle.  That would anger her and her blood would boil.  “Mom it isn’t that easy.  Why can’t I just do that,” was her constant reply.

Her determination was partly from her plight of being the second born.  She loves doing anything her older brother can’t or hasn’t even tried yet.  She loves competition.  (as long as she has forecasted the odds in her favor)  So many sessions have been spent on whistling with no change, no luck and lots of spit.  Just watching her was entertainment enough sometimes.

She recently stopped asking, which was sad.  I knew she had given up on her dream.  But to both our surprise this morning she came into the kitchen beaming.  She asked me to stop making lunches and listen.  She then went into a continuous whistling fest.

She then declared, “I know what has been holding me back all this time mom from whistling.”  I then asked her what it was.  She said, “Losing all my teeth was the best thing ever because I can finally whistle!”

Then the rest of my morning, I fought the urge to not ask her to stop whistling!!!

It makes me wonder what physical attribute we have that we consider a road block…  And the exhilaration if we could change it.

I am excited that she can whistle since she is toothless, but part of me also wishes it gets a little hard again when her teeth return! 🙂

Love Others

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This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  John 15:12    

Found this verse today and I would like to reflect on it.

When I was younger I acted younger.  Deep, huh?  Ego was important.  Success was necessary.  I would say I had good intentions but bad intentions at the same time.  Sometimes being driven just means you are lost on the road of life.

Times to give or do was for an accomplishment or a resume builder.  I didn’t start truly giving/doing out of a sweet place of unnecessary thanks or repayment until I became a mom and started getting farther in my walk with God.  Part of it would be just the nature of youth and circumstances.  But now I know better.

It wasn’t just doing that I was missing the target with, but also with people.  I heard once from a friend that everyone I meet has “eternal value”.   This struck me as a key to getting life right.  I won’t meet everyone or help all, but those I do or who are in my life have “eternal value”.  So do I! So do you!

This thought from over a year ago helped put a pin in how I had started living and operating about 4 years ago.  Praying, helping, serving, grieving and celebrating became intregal themes in my daily life.  And also in my family as a whole.  Being involved with others instead of having a to-do list of things to accomplish to be successful has made my life full.  I still have a strong desire to be successful but not by the measurement of man and society.  It isn’t easy.  It is a struggle, but I work on it daily.

So loving another as myself has gotten to a place I understand more than I ever did before.  And I hope that I can instill this awakening in my children while they are in my care, so that their paths are already lit by this truth.

Go Right —>

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I have been blessed to serve as a volunteer ministry leader for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) for over 5 years.

A lot has changed in our group and for me personally in those 5 years.

But when I first started I couldn’t find ANYTHING!  I couldn’t find the right floors, the right contact, or how things really worked.  (And I am a systems type of gal and I want to respect a good system)

One time a sweet friend, who attended the church was trying to get me from the lower floor to the 4th floor Supply Room.  The church was designed creatively when it was expanded, so it actually tricky at first to find your way around it.

I GOT LOST!  She found me in the wrong hallway with my arms full of plastic tubs.  She guided me personally to the right hallway.  I followed her and tried to memorize the corrected path.

She then said something simple and profound with a chuckle, “Go to Jesus and go right.”  There at the T of the hallway and classrooms was a mural of Jesus gathered with His little children.  All I had to do was go to Jesus and go right to be in the right place.  The place I was lost from without clear directions, guidance, and understanding.  The place I desired to find.

How many times do you feel right if you are closer to God?  I know I crave it.

I’m sure my friend doesn’t remember this exchange.  She was just getting me to the right place.  But it was impactful.  It drew me closer to God and it has helped set my path to be more defined.  And that this impact was from a conversation 5 years ago.

That mural is no longer there.  It was painted over about 2 years ago.  But each time I find myself on that hallway I remember,  “Go to Jesus and go right.”  I have even touched the wall and thanked God for still being there for me and providing.

Thanks Ang for being a light in my journey.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14