Why am I awake?
Because this is the time of day my house is quiet. Everyone is asleep – for the moment. My husband was able to take a day off today, and it was his first day off since June. Which means it was also my first day off since June. Not that parents ever truly get days off, but something as close to “off” as I can get right now. I ran an errand by myself. He took the kids to the park, and I stayed home with the napper and the newborn. After dinner was done, I hid upstairs in my room and just wasted time online. And reveled in the solitude. And reveled in the fact that when anyone poked their head in (which happened a lot), I was instructed by my husband to send them back to him. Exhale . . .
Our precious baby #6 arrived at the end of July. And it has been hard. One kid to two kids in 18 months was hard for me. Three babies in three years was hard again. Number four and number five slipped in quietly and just made life more full. Number six has humbled me.
He (yes, he!!) had a rough start, and in the crazy newborn days it is hard to remember what life will be like a few months into the future. And it weighs you down. And makes you wish for an extra body to take care of the other five at the same time. Or a spouse who isn’t overworked himself. We survived. Not without tears – from me and all the kids.
Since my husband has been working Sundays since June, we have only been able to attend church very sporadically for months. And I miss it. Oh, I miss it. I miss the songs. I miss closing my eyes and lifting my voice and just being washed in the fellowship of other believers and renewing my hope in Jesus. It is a season, and I need to figure out how to endure the valley.
Part of enduring the valley is this – writing. Reaching out to someone, anyone, who might be in the valley as well. Or just in the trenches of the battle of motherhood. Writing down my days so I can remember them myself when the fog lifts. And remembering to cherish these days in the present. I do not want to miss these days hoping for the future! Writing at 11:30pm, when the house is quiet, sets it all in perspective again. Renews my strength to be Mom again tomorrow.
Lord help me . . .
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Jesus, motherhood, newborn, overworked | 1 Comment »
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Welcome to my next installment of forced accountability through blogging! No, really, that isn’t my only goal. This is my first year being very intentional about my goal setting. Not just talking, but planning and writing down. Making sure my goals are both measurable and attainable.
With the help of the book Tell Your Time, I have identified nine major roles in my life that deserve my attention. My roles are:
- Home Manager
- Worshipper of God
- Business Owner
This post is focusing on my role as wife. Remember, my goal setting began by asking myself the question, “What kind of wife do I want to be?” I want to be a forgiving, gentle, supportive, helpful and fun wife. I want to be my husband’s soft place to fall. I want to someday look back on seventy years of marriage and know that I honored the Lord with this role, and blessed my husband.
Honestly, I am really humbled when I think how far I need to come in this category. My husband is so loving and so gracious, that he would probably say I am already these things. But, I know better, and so does Jesus. I want to do better.
So, with an end goal that, to me, is very intimidating because of how far I need to come, I need to start small. Remember, my goals need to be as measurable and attainable as possible, so that I have a way of assessing my progress. Here is what I have come up with:
- Thursday Morning Meetings – Sounds really romantic, doesn’t it? Well, we take what we can get :)! My husband’s work schedule is completely unpredictable, but he is almost always home on weekday mornings. We have carved out this time (this was his idea!) to set aside for each other. Thursday mornings, from 9:30 to 11:30, is our time. (The baby is with us for the first half hour, but then she goes down for a nap. The older four are in a bedroom together listening to an audio book and playing. Training your children to play well together is priceless!) Sometimes we just talk. Usually we pray. We are reading a book together, so sometimes we read a chapter and discuss things. It is just a time to make sure that we are coming together at least once a week just to stay connected. If there are things on my heart or mind, I can save them for this time. So far, I am loving it!
- Holding My Tongue – Well, I wish I could say I am making great strides here. I too often voice what I think at the time are my thoughts, when in hindsight, they are merely criticisms. I want to change that. I have been praying for awareness of this habit prior to speaking so that I can more readily exercise control. By the grace of God!
- Reading Scripture and Books about Being a Wife – My daily time in the Word and in prayer brings me back, every morning, to where my focus needs to be. God speaks to me about my habits, my behaviors, and my ways of thinking, and leads my heart back to where He wants it. This makes me more able to glorify Him in many ways, being a wife included. I am also reading Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl with a fantastic group of ladies from church. The wisdom, encouragement and accountability in our group is phenomenal!
- Planning Fun Time Together – This one is easy. Or at, least this one sounds easy. Play time with my husband is something that brings him so much joy! He likes for me to poke him in the side when I walk by or tickle him when he is standing at the sink. I can do that! He also loves to just play – board games, card games, dominoes – and I need to make sure those things happen. Marriage should be fun!
- Date Time Once a Month – This one is tricky. We do not have extra money in the budget for this, and we do not have many people in our lives who are willing to watch our five young children for us for free. However, this time together is important to our marriage. We figure if we make it our goal to get out once a month, maybe it will actually happen once a quarter :)! We do have some family and friends who are willing, and we need to allow them to bless us in that way! Dates inside the house are also a great way to connect for free.
The whole idea, for me, this year is to make decisions that work towards my goals, and to avoid actions that don’t. These written goals are my compass this year. Make sure you subscribe to future posts, so you don’t miss any of my coming posts in this series. Let’s encourage each other!
How are you doing in your role as wife? In other roles? What areas are you working on this year? Tell us about it in the comments!
Posted in 2012 Goals, Uncategorized | Tagged Accountability, Goal setting, God, Husband, wife | 1 Comment »
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You’ll see in my menu plan this week that I am planning on bringing back dinner. The midday meal of yesteryear! Whether a larger midday meal works for your family or not, crock pot cooking is extremely convenient. So, if you are a “High for 4 hours” or a “Low for 8 hours” kind of gal, read on!
In theory, if I can plan ahead and get dinner (otherwise known as “lunch” :)) in the crock pot in the morning, either before or during breakfast prep, this should work like a dream. Think about it! This will mean that the bulk of the supper prep dishes that are usually staring at me (and often laughing) when I come downstairs after tucking the kids in will be done before noon. Oh, that sounds so good.
The problem with crock pot cooking is that it can mean a lot of trial and error to find recipes your family loves. And, if you are into eating real food, like we are, it can be difficult to find truly healthy crock pot dishes. No canned cream soups allowed! The following are some of my favorite sources for real food crock pot dishes:
- Soups and stews – Just about any of your favorite soups and stews can be modified to cook in the crock pot. If you plan to use ground beef, brown it before putting it in your crock pot. Beans will need to be cooked ahead of time, or use canned, if you plan to eat the soup at noon. If you plan to cook a cream soup in the crock pot, don’t add the cream or milk in the beginning. If you add it about half an hour before serving, the results should be delicious.
- Large Family Logistics – Kim Brenneman (who inspired me to use my crock pot more for the lunch meal!) has five yummy recipes specifically for the crock pot. If you are not into eating meat, or are looking to save money by eating fewer meals with meat, these can easily be converted to meatless as well. Also, check her easy lunches here.
- Make It Fast, Cook It Slow – Stephanie O’Dea is a wonderful writer in addition to being a fantastic source of amazing crock pot recipes. I happen to own both of her cookbooks, but all of those recipes, and many more, are available on her website. And, bonus – they are also gluten-free!
- Nourishing Crock Pot Carnival – Lindsay from Passionate Homemaking hosted a Nourishing Crock Pot Carnival back in 2009. Who knew I would still be loving it in 2012! There are definitely treasures in this link up.
These should absolutely be enough to inspire and motivate you to drag out your crock pot or to add a few new recipes to your usual line-up. Come back here and let me know if you find any gems! Or, just post your favorite recipe for us all right here in the comments.
I’ll be sharing this post with the readers over at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Good Cheap Eats.
Posted in Kitchen Tip Tuesday, Meal planning, Real food, Recipe | Tagged CrockPot, Lunch, midday meal, Real Food, simple, Slow cooker, Soup, stew | 6 Comments »