Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well, I just can't seem to get far into Lorna Doone. Maybe my life will still be complete if I never do read that book. Ya think?

But I have been reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I want to read it slowly because I feel like I really need to get all I can out of it. In recent years I just haven't felt the closeness with Christ that I used to. I feel dry and tired on the inside a good amount of time. I know the book can't give me refreshment back in my life, but I want to really practice what I read.

But I came across this quote today:

"If we are to progress in the spiritual walk so that the disciplines are a blessing not a curse, we must come to the place in our lives where we can lay down the everlasting burden of always needing to manage others. This drive, more than any single thing, will lead us to turn the Spiritual Disciples into laws. Once we have made a law, we have an "externalism" by which we judge who is measuring up and who is not. With out laws the disciplines are primarily an internal work, and it is impossible to control an internal work. When we genuinely believe that inner transformation is God's work and not ours, we can cut to rest the passion to set others straight.

We must beware of how quickly we can latch onto this word or that word and turn it into law. The moment we do so we qualify for Jesus' stern pronouncement against the Pharisees: They bind heavy burdens on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger" (Matt. 23:4) In these matters we need the words of the apostle Paul embedded in our minds: "We deal not in the letter but in the spirit. The latter of the law leads to the death of the soul; the Spirit of God alone can give life to the soul." (2 Cor. 3:6 Phillips)."

Oh isn't that so true! As soon as I tell one of my boys something the first thing they do is to say "Well, so and so did that." The last thing they want to do is address their own behavior! It's always so and so!

But the flip side of that is that we can also be on the receiving end of another person who feels like it is their ministry to set the rest of the world in order. They don't approve of your clothes, schedule, TV watching, standard of education, etc. etc. etc. And if you even maybe have two or three people in your life like that if you don't set yourself to protect yourself that can get very burdensome indeed. Especially if the advice conflicts!

Sometimes I feel like I walk around with one big guilt trip. But I feel like the Lord is telling me that the reason I feel guilty is because I haven't been spending enough time with Him. So He can speak to me about the things that aren't actually His will for me and also the things I really ought to feel guilty about. I need to spend more time with the Lord. That is just the bottom line. It is good to spend time with others, get work done, all of that, but with out His sweet presence we can work ourselves to a fury going in entirely the wrong direction. We can use our time of fellowship leading others in the wrong direction as well-maybe all the while thinking we are helping them get their life together! I need the Lord. I am looking forward to some time of quietness with Him.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Note to self...

I have this situation in my life that I am continually rehashing in my mind.  First I want things to go one way and I build my ideas that support this desire and why it would be good, etc., etc.  Then, no, I think of all the drawbacks.  And then I think I want it to go some other way and I think of why that would be better, build my arguments... and on and on.  At times I can get quite tied up about it.  But tonight I felt the Lord speak to me and say "You're acting like this is your desicion."  Which, of course, really ... it isn't.  It's His.  I need to just rest in that.  He will perfect that which concerns me.  If you see me walking around with my brow furrowed, could you please remind me?  Thanks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I don't really usually do blog contests or give aways and so forth, but KimC @ Life in a Shoe is doing a cloth diaper give away.  And mostly all I have are the plastic pants.  So I would be really happy to get one of these Thirties covers. :)  And I get another entry by linking it all here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall is in the air today!  I love fall, but I don't want it to come until Monday because we are going to have a yard full of people this weekend, Lord and weather permitting.  It is a family tradition to celebrate birthdays at a time when it isn't actually your birthday.  So we are having a birthday party for my three middle girls on Sunday.  Elisa and Fiona's birthdays were in April and Irene's in August, but we were too busy then, so here we are.  I hope it goes well. 

Lately I've been spending a lot of time talking with Forrest about his plans for the future.  He has developed quite an interest in economics.  I guess the fun of having older kids is that they become interested in things you never would have investigated yourself and you get to learn through them.  We are trying to decide where he should go to college, when, etc.  Community?  Distance learning?  There are so many options, all of them costing lots of $$$$$ and I don't want to make a mistake and waste said $$$$!!!

But I also want to trust that God will make a way and provide and not shrink back from something just because it looks impossible at the beginning.  *Sigh*

But I hate the thought of him going away to school.  I hope he won't need to too soon.  I guess it depends on what he wants to study.  Economics is a pretty broad subject.  But he wants to do something that will make a real difference, somewhere, somehow.  I guess if you come from an Austrian economics  point of view it is harder to get a good paying job because it's the government that really pays the economists and they don't like the Austrian view.  It doesn't give them anything to promise their constituents.  But I can't tell him not to go into something just because he's not going to get rich at it-I mean if he feels like that's really where the Lord is leading him, can I?

But we toss around college names like Hillsdale, or Patrick Henry.

Bah.  I want him to stay here.  I want all my kids to stay right here.  And I want at least 100 grandchildren.

And thats that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We have a new family member floating around the house these days.  This is Hercule Poirot.  (Since the rat is named Miss Marple we thought we'd continue with the Agatha Christie theme.) He just came into the house one day and stood there looking at me.  I thought surely someone would be looking for him.  We put up signs, did Craiglist, took him to the vet to see if there was a micro-chip.  But to no avail.  The vet said a lot of pet owners have been simply turning their pets out when they are evicted from their homes, so I think that must be it.  He was well taken care of, nails trimmed, fixed, etc.

He's a very sweet little fellow.  The children just love him.  He just blends right in with them.  I wasn't too fond of daschunds and never would have thought of getting one, but I don't think I could have found a better dog for us if I'd gone out looking for one.  I'm glad he came. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I cannot, cannot believe how long it's been since I last posted! This summer has been such a whirl of activity, I don't even know where it has all gone. But it's been a good summer, I think. It seems like we got together with friends a lot, and that is good. Some sad things, too. My father in law has died. So familiar things change, phases of life go from one thing to another, and nothing seems to be the way you expect them to be, but God is good.

Lately I've been reading a book by Susan Wise Bauer, "The Well Trained Mind". Rather than a book on the kids' education, it's a book for educating myself-for a change! I used to read a lot but that has dropped off in the past few years. I get frustrated because I can never seem to get beyond a certain surface level in anything! I felt like I could read fiction about at the Jane Austen level, but anything more complicated would elude me. And the nonfiction I read seems to go over the same information over and over because I could only get one level of a topic and not a whole lot further. I can read what other people tell me I should think about a topic, but not really get a grasp of the source material for myself. Also my lack of memory gets frustrating. Like I can't organize my thoughts and tell back what a book was trying to get across in a coherent way. Why bother to read something if you won't remember it! It's just felt like I've been on a level of mental stagnation that I just can find my way out of.

I want the children to see me reading, trying to improve myself, enjoying knowledge and trying to be a better person, because I want them to see the value of it for themselves. But I run out of time, energy, and lately, motivation.

So I was happy to read in Susan Wise Bauer's book that it isn't that I'm just an air head, it's that I've never actually learned to read! No, I don't mean phonics, I mean how to really read a book! I'm excited to start learning the way to consume more difficult books, and pass this on to my older children! (My son would greatly admonish me for my over use of exclamation points there. But I am exclamation point excited!)

I want to really learn how to do this. She suggests one starts with Don Quixote, but I don't have that on hand, and I have always wanted to read Lorna Doone, so I think I will start with that. I'm just so tickled with this whole thing.

I think it will help me with my Bible study too. I have been frustrated with that for the same reason as with my other reading. I can read the Bible, I can read other people telling me what to think about what I read in the Bible, but I'd like to be better able to know what I think about what I read and why.

Well, time is still an issue, but to try and not to do as much as one would want to is better than to not try at all. I feel like I must keep trying.

And when I start to feel like I've got this more under my belt I will get started learning the other skill I am so frustrated with my lack of-Writing. Which that sentance is probably proof us, but hey, it is 5 in the morning, and I have been up since two. But I do also have a Susan Wise Bauer book on that subject too, that I can't wait to tackle. I think I will owe that woman an enormous debt. :) I hope so, anyway.

Ahh, nothing like having to reeducate oneself at 41. But such is the world we live in..