Monday, October 27, 2008

Imaginary Work

When I first started my blog, it was at the suggestion of my good friend, Christina. As I have researched the culture of blogging, I am amazed at the variety of blogs and uses for blogs.

I have even discovered that you can make money off of your blog (note the google ads on my page--every time you click on one, I make money. Pretty cool--however, I don't have a huge following, so I have not made any money off of your clicks.) I just spent some time trying to discover simple ways to make money off of my blog, but can't for the life of me find the websites that I had previously read describing how. I particularly am interested on making money from reviewing things--especially books! Did you know that you can even set up your blog so that people can just donate money to you for no reason?! Or you can even charge people to read your blog--wow, to think that perhaps someone would pay to read my musings!

I sit researching ways to make money by not really working for it, so that when I really do work at my job that I don't get paid for monetarily, I will really actually be making money. Imaginary work--brilliant. Make sense? So, here is my list of things to do that I will be paid for when I am working at my zero paying job that will actually begin paying when I make it to big time blogging:

(It is a given that loving God, serving and dating my hubby, playing with the kiddos come first--these aren't work . . .)

1. organize the school room and game room
2. change linens
3. stuff cloth diapers and put the small ones away
4. go through new tub of clothes and hang up what the baby can wear currently
5. call my creative friend Sarah and get kids picture taken
6. write in my blog more
7. write down what I eat, exercise, and lose 10 pounds by Christmas
8. mail books
9. email some people
10. Make scrapbooks for two youngest boys
11. paint family room
12. paint trim white
13. paint downstairs bathroom
14. paint kitchen?
15. make lap books for FIAR lesson
16. mail checks, go through receipts
17. dust
18. vacuum
19. clean bathrooms regularly
20. do laundry and actually get stuff folded and hung on the same day
21. sew baby sling
22. sew baby wipes
23. make Cocoon wrap to sell
24. redo elastic in FuzziBunz
25. sew outfits for the boys to match for the baby dedication
26. decide when to have the baby dedication and call church
27. make a jacket for my mom
28. reinvent some used pre-fold diapers
29. sell some stuff on eBay
30. hang out with a new friend from church
31. put manure in the garden and close it down for the winter
32. rake leaves
33. take out a shrub by the deck and put some ornamental grasses there
34. memorize scripture
35. organize laundry room
36. sleep

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friendly Advice

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141: 3

I have some friendly advice. When you see someone, with whom you consider yourself their acquaintance, DON'T say, "You look tired." or "Is there something wrong?" or "You need to get some sleep." or "You look like there is something wrong." or "You look different. I didn't recognize you" These comments are really reserved to be used between people who really know each other and talk regularly. However, it seems like most of the time they are used by people in passing, who make the comment without really thinking of the potential psyche damage it might do, especially on a sensitive individual (like myself).

if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!
Proverbs 6:2-3

Why do I bring this up? Well, recently it happened to me. I admit that I am a postpartum mom. I'm lucky to ever take a shower by 4 PM, step out of my PJ's, blow dry my hair, or wear shoes other than my slippers. My clothes wear proud badges of honor called drool, spit up, and food from dirty hands. My typical uniform, due to lack of self control and the unique body sculpting called bearing children, is my favorite pair of grey yoga pants and a plain black t-shirt. Unfortunately, after wearing these pants more than 5 times, they begin to look a little dingy, so I have to switch to my black workout pants with the white stripes done the leg, which aren't nearly as flattering to my birthing hips.

It was on such a day that I was wearing my black workout pants, that I needed to pick my child up from an activity at church. Normally, he comes home with Dad, but Dad was sick. I ventured out in the dark of night, not worrying about my attire, the evening would cloak my uniform. I actually thought I looked pretty decent for having not showered. I was a mom and I had on mom clothes--other moms were bound to be attendance this particular evening.

I was in for a shock when there were NO MOMS! Where did they all go? Did I forget about the uniform change? Where could I hide in these brightly lit halls? There were people everywhere and I had shown up early. Several of the retired moms (who wore jeans, slacks, pretty blouses and sweaters . . . and jewelry!) mentioned to me, mostly as I passed them in the hallway, that I looked, well . . . different. Instead of interpreting their curiosity as concern, I instantly began to question my postpartum, milk producing, whole foods, sleep deprived, homeschooling uniform. Perhaps I had misjudged. I thought I would at least get a wink or two from the "closet" moms, showing their support of my openness to show my profession in public.

However, my kind and faithful friend said not a word. After all, she knew what my day had been like, how sick my husband was, and how I desperately needed a break. But if she had said those observant comments to me, I would have deemed her sensitive and caring.

So . . . let this be a lesson to women everywhere. Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Please forgive me, if I have ever said these words to you. I was insensitive and in many ways prideful. If I see you out in your uniform, and I am not in mine, I will give you the secret mom wink.

My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. Psalm 49:3

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Field Trip called Fall

Well, I did it. I skipped school this Thursday and we played outside. I putzed around in my garden, while the boys entertained themselves with various activities from raking leaves to digging holes.

It has been my goal for three years to actually plant my fall harvest at the right time. I missed it this year, but I have my spring harvest planted--garlic!

Being outside on Thursday made me decide that Fall is officially my favorite time of the year. Long shirts and jeans here I come. I have so many fun memories that happened and will happen in the fall: crumpling leaves to bring about their unique aroma, creating a leaf collage for school, surrounding my beloved dog, Toby, in leaves as a youngster, hayrides with my new boyfriend when I was in high school, studying by the library on a blanket at IU my freshman year of college, romping at Audubon Park in Kentucky with my boyfriend (now husband), sleeping under the stars with college friends at Garden of the Gods in Illinois, camping in Colorado with the Aspen leaves waving to me on a crisp afternoon hike, throwing leaves up so high to dance around my dog and make her chase her tail, secretly building mountains with Oak, Maple and Ash for the boys to plow over when they wake up from lazy afternoon naps, creating leaf-n-slide activities to bring about squeals of delight, raking leaves with my newborn slung to my side, and the yearly family photo. I love the way the sun pours light onto the ever changing leaves. There always seems to be a slight breeze. The squirrels play all day. Our dog chases the wind and is frisky after her morning potty break. I almost wish that days were longer in the fall than the summer. I wish to savor the beauty and sit out by an open fire (however, the directions on our firepit say not to use the fire pit on a wood deck.)

So, I think tonight will be another date night with my husband, even though we saw Fireproof last night. Time to light his birthday present (a fire pit) and make some hot chocolate.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Napping Children is a must for effective multi-tasking

The idea today was to multitask--we got a lot of great food from coop Tuesday night. I needed to make use of everything before it went bad, tie dinner into our homeschool lesson, and make dinner taste good while we eat it in our "junk."

What is a "junk?" Stay tuned to find out!

By the way, the various foods shown are coconut rice (because that is what Ping's owners would eat on their "junk"), potato leek soup in the crockpot, wheat bread rising and garbanzo beans sprouting to make humus. Yummy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Are the Realities of Heaven for a Mom?

Colossians 3:1-4 says, "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." (NLT)

Or in my husband's favorite translation (NKJV) this text reads:

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

So . . . during the day that begins at the butt-crack of dawn, with a baby latched on, another tugging at his soggy diaper, and the eldest frantically jumping, all the while tripping over the everpresent dog that is underfoot and random MatchBox cars, how does a Mommy set her sights on the realities of heaven, when there is so much demand her on earth for her attention?

According to Strongs Concordance the Greek word "above" is ἄνω, ἀνεγκλησία [ano /an·o/], for all of you scholars, has the following several definitions: 1 up, upwards, above, on high. 2 of the quarters of the heaven, northward. 3 of countries, inland, up from the coast. 4 of time, formerly.

I don't think this verse is refering to the coastline, but indeed somewhere up above, on high, where our new home awaits us upon Christ's return. Of the four times used in the NT, this particular Greek word is used once to refer to Jerusalem, "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all," (Galatians 4:26, obviously out of context right now). So what is in heaven? What are the things above versus the things below?

Upon a quick perusal, I think the answer lies in versus 12-16, which I will only briefly touch on because my boys are getting quite restless in their Quiet Time (meaning it isn't so quiet anymore). So I will leave you with this verse, actually it is more for me, than you . . .

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

So the realities of heaven translate to a very practical level for a mom--be merciful when disciplining, show kindness rather than irritation, humility by serving and not blowing out long sighs, longsuffering when folding the countless diaper in 4 years, forgive when annoyed and let it drop, be thankful that you have children and most importantly, whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.