Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thoughts on self-worth

Today, I did some much needed cleaning.  Stuff that really needed to be done about 2 weeks ago.  Chores that I've been avoiding while I happily bake, read, work in the yard, and teach my kids.  Since I cleaned the bathrooms and the floors today, I really feel much better about myself.  And that is kind of sad.  Why do I feel better about myself if my house is clean, um, cleaner (and degrade myself if it isn't)?  Why do I evaluate my self-worth by what I have accomplished?

I don't base my opinion of my husband or my kids on what they have or have not accomplished.  My opinions of my friends don't change based on whether their houses are clean or dirty when I go to visit.  I just love them because of who they are.  So, why do I do it to myself?

Do you have a tendency to determine your self-worth based on your accomplishments?  Stop it!  You are amazing just because you are you!  Messy house?  That is okay.  Besides, it will help me feel better about mine... 

I don't plan to stop cleaning my house, but I sure don't want something so meaningless to impact how I think about myself.  I'm going to try to focus on what I like about myself.  Real qualities that come from the heart.  Care to join me?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things they need to know

The kids and I planted the second half of the garden today.  We planted broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, onions, and bok choy.  My daughter and I both came in from outside with terrible headaches due to allergies.  It was time to get clean and wash away the pollen.  After getting the kids clean and dressed, I settled them in with a snack and a video so I could shower.  As always, I said to them, "Never open the door when I am not with you.  No matter who is there, keep the door closed and locked."  "Okay, Mommy."  I thought it might be good to check their understanding.  "What if it is President Obama at the door?  Should you open the door for him?"  "Umm.... I think we should."  "No, don't open the door for anyone!  Not even the president.  If you think it is someone I would want to let in, just come and get me."  I think we need to review this a few more times!

This conversation made me think.  What other things do I need to make sure my kids know and understand?  Do they know what to do in an emergency?  Do they remember how to call 911?  Do they remember what I told them to do if they ever get lost or separated from me?  Do they know to tell me right away if anyone ever tries to hurt them?  What other things do they need to know? 

Do they know how much I love them?  That nothing can change that love.  Have I taken the time today to remind them how much they are loved?  Do they know how much Jesus loves them?  Have I taken the time to pray with them and read the Bible to them today?  I can't teach them everything, but I better not forget the most important things.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tidbits from our "farm"

We finally got around to starting our fall planting in the vegetable garden.  Things were put on hold in October because I had a few weeks of severe anxiety/depression, complicated by a reaction to medication.  Ugh.  I am so thankful to be doing better!

On Saturday, we put up a fence around the garden to keep the chickens out.  They weren't too happy about that.  After creating the chicken boundary, we planted seeds for beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach, parsnips, and a few herbs.  Today the kids and I went to the garden center and got seeds for peas and kale.  We also got broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, onion, and brussel sprouts plants.  Lots of things we've never grown before.  I'm curious how our fall gardening venture will turn out.  The kids insist that they will eat everything that we grow in our own garden.  I hope they do!

The chickens are doing well and supplying us with lots of eggs.  They are a funny group of ladies, very entertaining to watch.

We've been getting some rain and it is so wonderful to see our lawn (um, weed patch) turning green again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A house is not a home...

I love cats and books.  I always have.  If I wasn't married with kids, I imagine I'd be an old spinster with oodles of cats and piles of books.  I suppose I would work in a library.  You can picture it right?

But since I have been blessed with an amazing husband and darling children, I spend hours every day reading to my kids.  Funny thing, they love books too!  We snuggle on the couch and read great books.  I'm learning an awful lot about history and science.  From time to time I get kicked in the head by my four year old son who doesn't exactly "sit" and listen.  And I am reminded to laugh.  When my voice gets tired I hand the book to my six year old daughter and she does the reading.  We cuddle up, we learn, we laugh, we love.  Life is good.

When I was about fourteen, I desperately wanted a cat.  I had unsuccessfully asked my parents if I could have a cat.  Then I figured it out, my house didn't feel like a home without a cat.  And I said so, "Mom, a house really isn't a home without a cat."  Who knew that simple heartfelt statement would work?  It wasn't long before I got to bring Milo home.  Milo, my friend with long, orange fur.

I've been thinking about this lately.  When my kids go to bed, I snuggle up on the couch with more great books, a cup of tea, and my two black cats.  I feel very much at home.  But it isn't the cats, or the books, that make me feel at home.  It is the love that fills our house.  It is knowing that my husband is in the room with me, that my kids are tucked safely in their beds, and that we tucked them in with words of love.

As a teenager I felt like I was in a house that wasn't quite a home, not because the people weren't loving, but because my parents were often gone.  It is easy to realize how much young kids need their parents to be home, how much they need their parents' time and attention.  Little kids tell you, they make their needs known.  No matter what they say, or don't say, I believe that bigger kids need their parents to be available just as much as the little ones do.  As my little kids get bigger, I plan to still be here.  I plan to keep on reading to them.  Even if I drive them crazy and they wish I'd go away.  I hope that my presence and love will continue to make our house a home.  And if I'm mistaken on this point?  Don't worry, we've got the cats.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Healthy" Brownies

I made these brownies today.  They were super good and about as healthy as brownies can get.  It has been a rainy day, perfect for staying inside, playing board games with the kids, baking and eating warm, gooey brownies.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Have you ever been there?

Have you ever been there?  See this blog post.

I know I have...  I've felt or heard that "still, small voice" asking me to do something.  Telling me to get involved or make a difference.  Sometimes I've said no.  And it haunts me.  But sometimes I've said yes, and I'm so glad I did.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Last year I was able to go to Save the Children orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The kids, the orphanage, the country, they are all close to my heart.  A sponsorship program has been established to support the little ones at the orphanage, and we have the opportunity to take part in making a huge difference in the lives of these children!  Just 5 more babies are in need of sponsors.  You can read more about it in this post.

Today, my family and I hosted a garage sale to raise some extra money for the orphanage.  I so appreciate the donations we received to add to our pile of things to sell.  Thank you friends!  We were able to raise enough money to feed 2 babies for one month.  I always wish I could do more than I am able to, but that won't stop me from doing what I can do.  Would you be able to sponsor a child?  Or help us spread the word?