Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I think I'm losing my mind!

I'm going to stop apologizing for my erratically timed updates and just blog whenever I can!  My husband, poor guy, has been complaining in his kindhearted way that he never sees us because of our "busy schedule" and tonight, I agreed with him.  He should record this event and store it in our safe!

I want our family to be as involved as possible in our school and church functions, and I encourage our kids to volunteer for stuff as well as volunteer for stuff myself.  Usually we manage things just fine---I think.  But lately, it's been one crazy merry-go-round of chaos that has not been very beneficial to us, our family life, or anyone else, for that matter!  Church choir is now practicing on Saturday afternoons for cantata; we're in the middle of our Fall Campaign to push for extra visitors (That's been exciting!  Our first Sunday was our church's 39th anniversary with a big service in the morning, special guests including the man who started our church, and a fellowship after the evening service.  Last Sunday, we honored all First Responders---police, firefighters, emergency personnel, etc.  What a unique and special service that was!  This Sunday, we will honor Healthcare Workers, and our last Sunday will be......I forget.  Did I mention I've been working too hard?); at school, we just wrapped up our first quarter and are looking forward to our Patriotic Program next Thursday, volleyball/basketball games starting soon, and Thanksgiving; Chad's delivery routes got rearranged a bit, so I can't predict as well what time he'll get home on some days---this makes making time to spend with him a bit more challenging; and WE STILL MISS MANDIE!!!  She kept teasing me that I wouldn't be able to survive without her, and I'm afraid she was more right than she knew!  I depended on her so much at school to keep order in the classroom when I needed to step out, to keep up on daily grading of math lessons and such, and to decorate the room each month.  I leaned on her even more at home to help with the cooking, cleaning, refereeing between younger siblings, and other stuff.  It's been quite a wake-up call for Katie and me both to just how much responsibility Mandie had taken upon her shoulders.  (I have the sinking feeling that I will have finally adjusted to life without Mandie when it will be time for Katie to go to college.  Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!

I stood in our kitchen tonight, looked Chad square in the eye, and said, "I think I might be doing too much."  He just grinned, silently acknowledging my admittance that he was right all along.  But my question now is:  how do I stop doing so much without feeling like I'm backsliding?  I mean, every single activity that I or my family is involved in is in God's service, right?  I don't sing in the choir because I want fame or recognition but because I love to sing and I want to praise God.  My girls don't go out on teen soul winning because they want to spend extra time with their friends but because they want to invite folks to church and tell people about Jesus Christ.  By the way, Ashley led two people to the Lord this afternoon!  She and her friend stopped to talk to a group of four, and each got to lead two of them to Christ.  YES!  Back to the previous topic, how do I give something up without feeling like "If I don't do it, who will?"

Even while typing this, the Holy Spirit is speaking to my heart, telling me, "Do you consider yourself to be the only person who can work in your ministries and be effective?  If so, you are full of pride."  He's right, of course.  I am only an effective teacher, mother, choir member, bus worker as long as I lean on God for His strength and wisdom.  If I keep close to God and daily ask for His guidance, I will not take on more than I can handle and I will know which tasks to say "no" to.  I know that some jobs I have now will not be forever; I will need to listen to the Holy Spirit's reminder to wait on the Lord and serve in the areas He wants me to serve in.  Sure, our physical bodies get tired or sick, and we need a break or some healing time.  But when our minds and our spirits get tired or sick, many times it's because we've labeled ourselves indispensable or "Super Mom" and feel we have to accept any task mentioned in our hearing because simply no one else is able to do the job right.  Then, when we begin to fail due to lack of Spirit guidance, we think we are overworked and under appreciated, instead of realizing the simple truth that we bit off more than we could chew.  God, help me to trust You to provide just the tasks You know I need and forego the self-promoting desire to sign up for everything.  After all, only God is able to do everything!

Dale is doing his usual thing---walking some/falling some, doing well in some classes/failing others, being sweet to his mom/annoying his sisters, claiming his faulty memory as an excuse for not doing something/ refusing to admit he did do something because he does not remember doing it!  Yep, that about sums it up!  Dale is exactly who God wants him to be right now, and we thank God for our son.

Take care and God bless you!

Proverbs 3: 5 - 6  "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Welcome, Fall!

Once again, I apologize for not updating this blog in a timely fashion, but this time I have a really good excuse........Mother Nature.  Or Father God, to be more accurate.

I've been thinking about what news to share, and I realized I really only have three newsworthy items to relate:

1.)  We have had the weirdest weather here lately.  You know how, a few years ago, everyone was blaming El Nino for all the rain we were getting?  Ever since September began, we here in western Washington have been subject to a whole range of inclement weather that we don't usually get to experience.  (Notice how I put a positive spin on that......"we don't get to"!)  In fact, I've begun to wonder if we're in some version of the Twilight Zone and have been secretly transported from Washington State to some other part of the country.  We've had lots of lightning and thunderstorms, and we even had a tornado!!!  Can you believe that?  A tornado right here in Spanaway---well, Frederickson.  This kind of severe weather knocked out power in some places and caused us to lose our internet for a few days (told you I had a good excuse!).  Plus, the city is doing road work down the street our church sits on; this construction combined with the storming knocked out our internet at church/school.  Qwest says they're working on it, but we've been without access for several days now.  Who's for moving to Hawai'i?  (Wait.....they have hurricanes there.  Never mind.)

2.)  Chad celebrated his 48th birthday on Saturday.  Katie paid him the ultimate compliment when she asked me how old he was.  I told her, "He's 48," and she replied, shocked, "He doesn't look 48!"  He just grinned when I relayed this to him.  He's been working out at our local gym and has lost quite a bit of weight in the past six or seven months.  He's quite the hunk now!  :-D  He gets to reward himself and take a well-earned vacation later this week when he goes hunting.  His cousin is planning to join him for a few days; he and Chad grew up together and will enjoy spending some time doing something they both love.  Happy hunting!

3.)  Our JV/V football teams played at home this past Friday, and we got to watch most of the games.  Our boys were victorious!  There were some awesome plays made on both sides of the ball.  Our guys were catching passes and running for touchdowns, and our defense was chasing down their receivers and pulling flags.  Two other teams came to play us and each other, so the field was busy all day.  I think our JV won one of their games, and our varsity won both.  We had a lot of fun cheering our teams on, and my students took a bit of time to run around before we headed back up the hill toward our classroom to get ready to go home.  The weather was actually really great that day---nice and sunny---and the only drawback to the day was the fact that the bees were out en force enjoying the day as well.  I don't think anyone got stung though, so that's good.

Don't we have a wonderful God?  It is amazing to realize that He loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us.  He isn't waiting for us to become a better person or clean up our lives and anything---He wants to be close to us right now.  And we use the stupidest excuses to avoid that close relationship with our Maker.  Like "I don't have time right now" or "I don't feel worthy" or "I will when I'm older."  We will never have more than 24 hours in each day, so why wait for more time?  Will there ever be a time when we feel worthy to approach if we could ever accrue enough good works to impress Him.  We should start now, today, and take just a few minutes to read His Word and pray.  As I tell my students, "If you never get started, you'll never get it done."  God is waiting to hear us say, "Hello, Lord.  I'm ready to start."

Hebrews 4: 16  "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."