This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, January 12, 2007

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

The weekend was supposed to be a weekend alone for my Darling Cave Geek and me. We had his company party to go to one night and a date planned the other. Roo and Boo were off to Grandma and Grandpa’s where cool Auntie and exuberant cousins also live. I was really looking forward to Darling Cave Geek and I having the first time alone for more than three years, but was still dreading how much I would miss the boy-barians.

Well the weather stepped up and we are under a coating of ice. No solo weekend, no quiet dinner for two. But my sweeties are under the same roof and there are no worries about how they will behave or what they would be doing without our guidance. Thankfully Darling and I are in agreement on how to raise the boys. And he's not too disappointed, either.

Family weekend together…food in the pantry, no one visiting…children pounding through the house like a herd of turtles…priceless.

Yes, I am overprotective, just for the record.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Flip-Side

Organizing my family


Why do only grown-ups get to decide what to do with their possessions/gifts?

Forums and on-line discussions tout the joys of streamlining our lives and the health and joy that this will bring. A dear, dear friend desires a more Spartan way of living. This person would be very thrilled if my pack-rat tendencies were exchanged for California Closets and Clean Sweep. I wouldn’t advise her holding her breath. In this season of decluttering and organizing, I pause to wonder…why do people give children gifts and then tell them they must get rid of them? Why doesn’t the child get to decide when their possessions leave the house—or do they really not belong to the child? Do children not have rights of ownership? Is mine, mine and my sons’ mine because they dwell in our home. Isn’t it their home too?

Disclaimer: I love my parents and feel they gave me a pretty good life and a lot of opportunities. We have a good relationship, so don’t take too much to heart over, or read too much into the meanderings of my rant.

I guess this has dragged around in my mind/heart for near forty years. When I was little, very little, I threatened to run away. Foolish? Yes. My mother told me I needed to wait to tell my Dad “Goodbye.” He didn’t to my recollection, tell me I would be missed, or to be careful. He told me instead to take a suitcase and I could only take what was “mine.” That is only what was purchased with my money. Well of course I had no money, therefore, I had nothing. Now I know I didn’t run away. I realize this taught me that my parents provided for my needs and I was never lacking material things. But somewhere in there the message I got was, if you don’t pay for it, it is not yours. Even if we gave it to you, even if Grandma gave it to you. We decide because we are grown-ups.

I am going to go ahead and say it…Thankfully God doesn’t do this to us. His gift to us is ours and we can do with it what we want. And that was one of those things “I will never do to my children.” You know the laundry list…”When I have children…I will never do____”

Last year on a forum I frequented, I made the audacious claim that my oldest son did not want me to give/throw/sell certain items he may have outgrown. I was most interested in selling his things for him on E-bay and would have willingly given him the money to do with as he wanted. I was informed with some condescension that Roo was a child and he would get over it, take a picture and pitch the items, and mostly that I needed to exercise a little authority and my life would be better through simplified living and better behaved children.

Well…I never brought that topic up again there. I allowed Roo to keep the items, stored in a tote in the garage and we haven’t ended up in Juvenile Hall yet. To hear them tell it we were on our way to the road of destruction.

I will agree if your child is four and Cousin Eddie gives him movies of Jason and Freddie, perhaps you should invoke your parental rights and not allow the gift to give more than your family needs. I get that, I really do. And if Nana gives five year-old Janie Bratz dolls and they do not fit you’re your family’s choices and beliefs, and you told Nana this two hundred times before the holidays…well I won’t think that is awful if they got “lost”. Dangerous, broken, immoral, totally age inappropriate things,—I do understand, but these aren’t the things I am addressing. And I understand the concept of space, or rather the lack of space. And having moved with my Darling Cave Geek thirteen times in fourteen years, I know that this old wreck of a body can only carry a certain number of boxes.

But at some point it started to bother me that my children were not allowed to own what was given them or what they purchased with their money. Perhaps it was when I took stock of what I was still dragging around and keeping in storage that it became clear to me that I couldn’t say the boys had to get rid of the Little People yet. We drag them out a couple times a year still, and after we make a huge zoo in the living room they get to be the visitors. Thomas and all his friends make up the train that goes around along with the GeoTrax. And, well…when Boo outgrows the zoo animals and dinos, man…I am going to keep them. I have some cool art ideas.

Perhaps I will start by “modeling” the organization and streamlining of collections. Last year I did give/throw/sell a lot of my stuff. And, yes, it still multiplies. But I am to the point where I think I will allow the boys equitable storage in the limited amount we have. I think I will work on me before I try to change them. Permissive? Maybe. But as they grow emotionally and spiritually, I think they will learn the joys of giving on their own. I can force them to give, but don’t see how it will change their heart. But if I demonstrate it…? Maybe. As they become wise in handling their money, I think they will learn to let go of some things in favor of the things they really want. But if I make them do it now…well…I don’t see the value. If I teach the values and live them, there might be more chance.

We are blessed beyond measure with abundance and the cares and trappings of the world to often get in the way of the One who gives us true joy. I know Yeshua told the rich young ruler to sell all he owned. But He didn’t pound him over the head with it and he didn’t tell him to go home and organize all his buddies and make them sell all they owned too. We will be working on this, but thankfully with the grace that we have been given and the realization that it is not a salvation issue.

I sound cranky, don’t I? And still with thanksgiving for our bounty and prayers we will be kind and wise…still searching for the joy.

Deep pondering for today:
Did you know that if you crave chocolate and eat about eight or nine olives….……… you still crave chocolate???? Who’da thunkit??

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

‘Tis the season

For organization, I hear.

It’s not happening much around this house. The tree is still up. The books are still piled. The year plan hasn’t made it from my brain to the calendar. Hmmmm…

I guess I talk about organization a lot in real life. One friend, seemed concerned that I was an organization junkie, and told me that too much organization can be a problem, i.e. when you are more concerned about the system v. the children.

Well too much organization could be a problem, but you have to start with some to ever get to too much. I just talk about it a lot.

Holidays, Nutcracker and getting sick all would have set anyone back, but if there had been a good system in place it would have been easier to crawl out. I am trying to keep plodding through. Sitting down and throwing my hands in the air in desperation and then losing myself in a book is probably not the way to go. So we press on.

Today’s joy—finding 3 packs of turkey sausage in the freezer. Roo doing his school work so willingly and well. Boo’s smoochy snuggles. Darling being home when his mom called.

Grace is what God gives us when we don’t deserve and mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve. –anonymous

Monday, January 8, 2007

Looking Backwards for a Moment

There is more joy in Jesus in twenty-four hours than there is in the world in 365 days. I have tried both. –R.A. Torrey

So who was I? Well, I seem to remember being a quiet person. That has changed. Of course I used to be thin, interesting, creative, well dressed, manicured & coiffed. But that was at the height of my heathen stage, so maybe I won’t pine too much. Who I was—in college I was an Advertising and Public Relations, emphasis on graphic art major (which was why I was in the theater dept. three to four days a week for dance class). I had enough credits to have graduated with an English degree, which was what I should have done. Actually I majored in having a little too much fun, wasting a lot of time and being very interested in everything.

All that, of course, translates into seven years in retail management, five years in ophthalmology, five years at a horse barn, working for trucking and shipping companies, and health care. Some of these were accomplished simultaneously otherwise if you do the math I appear older—I am old enough, don’t need more help. What I really wanted to do was be a teacher—guess what—I ended up doing that anyway. So it all turned out well in the end...

Becoming a mom has been the most rewarding, difficult, joyful, fearful, exciting challenge of my life. It seems like all those other things were part of a different person’s life. The teacher part started the day we decided to homeschool Roo, ds1. We made that decision before he was born. Then I went gung-ho and read everything I could get my hands on. I was so ready to start right then. Maybe I should have, because I keep getting farther and farther behind. Oh well…

My boys—Roo and Boo are smart, funny, challenging and a slew of other things I could brag about. I am sure I will. I am thankful for my Darling who puts up with my idiosyncrasies and loves me for who I am. We’ve been through a lot together and I am glad we have.

Looking back on who I was…makes me think I will stick with who I am. Warts and defects and all.

Sweet Will of God
Words and music by Leila N. Morris

My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.

Sweet will of God, still fold me closer;
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.


I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.


Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird, set free.


Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.


Sunday, January 7, 2007


Inertia is the word of the day. We fell out of motion and getting back in will take a good solid kick. There is no one to blame for our attitudes but me. Somewhere around Friday I got a little cozy and they got sucked into electronic entertainment. Now we are just disoriented and disorganized. I don’t want to work and they don’t want to do anything constructive.

My darling cave geek is not very helpful in this area because he, too, is suffering from immobility. Guess it is time for me to crack the whip and be the bad guy for a while. Where’s a mirror, I’d better start with me.

From our Shabbat blessings...

Husband’s blessing for his wife:

Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies. The heart of her husband shall trust her, and he has no lack of gain. She shall do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She shall seek wool and flax, and with delight she works with her hands. She shall be as the ships of Tarshish, she brings in her food from afar. She also rises while it is still night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her girls. She shall consider a field and buy it; from her profits she shall plant a vineyard. She shall gird herself with strength, and strengthen her arms. She shall taste when her gain is good; her lamp does not go out by night. She shall stretch out her hands to the distaff, and her hand shall hold the spindle. She shall extend her hand to the poor, and she shall reach out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is dressed in scarlet. She shall make tapestry for herself; she is dressed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She shall make fine linen and sell them, and shall give girdles for the merchants. Strength and splendor are her garments, and she rejoices in time to come. She shall open her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the Torah of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children shall rise up and call her blessed; her husband too, and he praises her; “Many daughters have done nobly, but you have risen over them all.” Loveliness is deceptive and prettiness is vain, a woman who fears YHVH is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31: 10-31