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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Great Deal

Today has been such a full day. Monday's school is always longer because of math videos. Rebecca had a meeting. Elisabeth felt bad. And I tried to get a day or two ahead in my daily cleaning schedule because I know the next two days will be even busier. 

In the midst of the business, I did make time for a brief visit to the mall after bringing Rebecca to her meeting. I was able to use a $10 off coupon and get two head bands for $.88! And I found a couple of really good-smelling fall candles  (which were on sale, but cost a lot more than $.88). I know these are small things in the grand scheme of things, but I also know they will bring me pleasure.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Playing with Fire

Since the Cleaning Fairy seems to have lost my address, all the housework is up to me to do or assign. And, since I'm not one of those people who appear to be effortlessly tidy, our house is usually in some degree of disarray.

Sometimes the best way for us to make ourselves do what needs to be done is to invite people over. A very real deadline can motivate me far more than my internal goals for my home. I spread out the cleaning I wanted to do all week, and by the time the youth group came over this evening, our house looked pretty good. (And the messy rooms stayed behind closed doors.)

I was able to enjoy my evening without stressing about clutter.

We ended the evening outside by the fire pit making s'mores and having a great time. Even after the others left, Paul, my 3 younger girls, and I stayed around the fire. (Hannah was at college Bible Study.)

The girls enjoyed lighting pine cones and sticks, and, for some reason, decided that we should sing Christmas songs. Our family easily falls into the rut of just watching TV, so this was a refreshing change that everyone enjoyed.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lessons from an Unusual Play

This made me so happy today.

Baylor's TE LaQuan McGowan caught a touchdown pass.

We loved seeing his joy and his teammates' celebrating with him. 

I want to be the kind of person who helps my friends to shine and who sets them to look good.

And I want to be unafraid to do things that are outside my usual role. To not be so focused on my job that I miss the chance to seize unexpected joy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Friday! The only weekday we have no standing commitments. I don't have to drive anyone anywhere on Friday. 

Friday! The only weeknight no one has church or ballet. We can have dinner together as a family and then spend time together playing a game or watching a movie.

Friday! After school is finished I get a weekend of just being Mom, instead of being Mom and teacher.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Donation Day

I finally made time today to drop off several bags of outgrown clothes and shoes to a local thrift store. I feel so much better not to have to see those bags of items we no longer need just sitting in my house. 

I was also able to donate some books the girls no longer wanted to a church book sale.

And my car is loaded with a box of toys and a bag of stuffed animals to bring to a friend's garage sale. 

I am by no means a minimalist. We have bookcases filled with books. (And more books in boxes!) My closet is still rather full. And my kitchen shelves hold dishes and gadgets galore. And I plan on keeping many of these things.

But it did feel good to send some of our stuff on its way to having a new home. 

I often think of God's graces and blessings as things He adds to my life, but when I limit my view of grace that way, I miss so much. Because grace also can be things God is getting rid of in my life. I want to see this as the healthy growth and the blessing that God intends it to be!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reading Is Fundamental

Today I was able to spend a few minutes in a place that makes my soul happy. I went to the library. So often, I have other errands to run, so I just drop off what is due and pick up anything on hold. But today I gave myself the gift of browsing the aisles for just a few minutes to find my next read.

I love being among so many books. Some I recognize as old friends. Others hold the promise of new adventures. I almost think reading is one of my basic needs. I know I my soul would wither at least a little if I were not able to regularly spend time reading. 

I try to vary my fiction reading. Now I am reading a Christian YA book that my daughters checked out. When I finish it, I will pick back up with a L.M. Montgomery book on my Kindle. (I was enjoying the book, but one of my girls was tragically bookless, and needed to borrow my Kindle.) And I brought home two books from the library to add to my queue. 

I'm so glad I was able to spend time in a place that makes me feel peaceful and happy even when life is busy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Delayed Date Night

Tuesday night is Date Night.! Three of the girls are at ballet, and the fourth relishes having the house to herself for a couple of hours. It brings joy to her introverted heart to watch Netflix or sing loudly or whatever else it is she does. So Date Night is win/win.

Tonight had to stop by the Target pharmacy before dinner because Abigail's sinus infection did not heal after the first round of antibiotics,and the doctor had called in a new prescription. And, since we were at Target, we had to buy another $100 worth of stuff. (This is a common occurrence. And this time the only thing I purchased that wasn't on my list was milk!) By the time we got the prescription and found what was on my list and smelled fall candles, I was hungry and had wished we had not spent so long at the store.

We went to a local Mexican restaurant, and while we were eating our fajitas, we saw one of our favorite couple friends. They joined us at our table, and we had a fun dinner. We caught up on our girls and her new puppies and life in general. If we had not gone to Target, we probably would have been finished before they got there and would have missed out. 

I can often see delays as troublesome or hindrances to my plans, but today I saw how God used what I saw as a delay to enable us to spend time enjoying our friends. I want to learn how to view delays, interruptions, and changes of plans as opportunities for God to work in new ways.