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 . . .
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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!
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Posted in Real food, Recipe, Uncategorized, tagged Banana, Chocolate chip, coconut, dairy free, gluten free, Muffin, walnut on January 19, 2012|
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My experiment with avoiding wheat and dairy this week is so far having absolutely no effect on my nursing baby’s skin issues. Bummer. One good thing that has come out of it so far, however, is these delicious muffins. I found the original recipe here, and made very few changes. I am just not confident in gluten-free creativity yet :).
My husband actually said these were the best tasting muffins he has had in years.
Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 c. coconut oil
3 ripe bananas
6 dates (pitted)
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 /2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c. chocolate chips (dairy-free, if needed)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and proceed:
1. In a blender, combine eggs, coconut oil, bananas, dates and honey. Blend until evenly combined.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda.
3. Dump the dry ingredients into the blender with the wet. Blend again to evenly combine. Scrape the sides as needed.
4. Stir (don’t blend!) in the walnuts and the chocolate chips.
5. Divide the batter evenly between 12 – 18 muffin cups (depending on how large you want them). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
I’ll be sharing this recipe with:
Real Food Wednesday’s
These Chicks Cooked
Full Plate Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday
- Orange Coconut Muffins (blessedrootsblog.wordpress.com)
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Welcome to my second post in a short series about different meal planning systems that might inspire you to actually develop a system that works for you. You can read about the Theme System here. Today, I am introducing the Rotating Weeks method.
This one takes less thought than the theme system, but also has less flexibility. This system works beautifully for people who have fairly predictable schedules from one week to the next. The idea behind this system is to come up with six weeks of meals all at once (or start with four if that seems less overwhelming), and then just rotate through them. When you reach the end of your six weeks – just start over at the beginning!
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Here is what you do:
- Write/type out six separate lists, Sunday – Saturday, and give some thought to your schedule. Evening activities, church, Bible studies, etc. need to be considered.
- Once you have your empty lists ready, and your schedule in mind – start filling in the blanks!
- Don’t feel pressured to make every meal different – who does that?! If you have pizza every Friday night, then fill in all your Fridays. Always make a roast on Sundays? Fill it in. Don’t forget to include eating out if that is a regular part of your week.
- If you are having trouble coming up with enough variety you have two options. Eat the same thing often :), or start searching for new recipes!
- When you have all of your main dishes figured out, go back and add sides. This will make creating your grocery list a breeze, and require even less thought from you in the future!
There are several reasons I love this system. First, once you put the work in to create the lists – you don’t have to do it every week!! You can also be intentional about planning date nights, family fun nights, nights when your kids cook, etc. If it is on the rotation, you’ll plan for it.
Another bonus if you use this system is freezer cooking. If you are making lasagna for tonight’s meal, it is extremely easy to make two at the same time and put one in the freezer. You know you’ll be eating it again fairly soon because it is on the rotation! No more freezer meals getting lost and never eaten with this system.
Stockpiling is also simplified if you know what you are making for the next six, twelve, eighteen weeks. If an item is on sale for the rock-bottom price, you can buy with confidence knowing how much to buy and that you are sure to actually use it!
When you find your groove with this system, I strongly encourage you to create two different rotations – one for Fall/Winter and one for Spring/Summer. If you do this, you will be sure to include the seasonal items we all crave and you’ll be ready to pull out the other plan when the seasons change.
At the beginning of your week, check your meal plan and make any minor adjustments (company coming so make a swap with another night’s meal, somebody wants their favorite meal on their birthday). Create your shopping list for things you don’t have in the pantry or freezer, add breakfast and lunch items and you are off!
Next up – the Three Meals A Day System.
- Menu Planning – The Theme System (blessedrootsblog.wordpress.com)
- A Dry Morsel (blessedrootsblog.wordpress.com)
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