Why I’m Not a Reader

It’s mommy confession time my friends.  I’m married to an author, yet I’m not an avid reader.  People don’t get this about me.

Well let me tell you why I don’t read very often…

I LOVE READING!!!

There.  Is that a good enough reason for you?  Are you laughing at my insanity?  (It’s okay.  I’m laughing a bit myself.)

Let me ‘splain. No there is too much, let me sum up.

When I read, as I’m sure many of you do, I enter into a little bubble world where I am engulfed in the setting of the book.  The characters are real people. Friends. Enemies. I am an onlooker, with a personal window into these beautiful worlds.  I get lost there.  I allow the windows of my imagination to open and distant worlds flood my brain.

And then…just as soon as all is well and established in this world…and usually in a moment of intensity…

“Mommy!” interrupted

*World dissolves.  Friends disappear.*

It never fails.

According to my hubby, this moment is almost as bad as waking me from a deep sleep.  You never know what may happen.  You never know what may be said. 🙂

talktomeSo, this is why.  As much as I love reading, I just can’t escape into that world very often…at this point in life.  I want to appreciate all of the beautiful artwork (also known as scribbles on used paper) that my children are proud of and I must see at any particular moment.  I want them to tell me all the brilliant ideas they’ve come up with.  Without accidentally snapping at them for interrupting my world.  Most of all, I want them to read…and I feel that me getting grumpy while reading will hinder that.

I’m working on it.  I recently started re-reading my hubby’s book in the evenings, rather than watching meaningless tv to fill the time between dinner and bedtime.  Modelling reading as important & not being snippy when disturbed.  (It helps that I’ve read the book before.)

Be blessed!

-De

Ponderings from a Wife

Several months back I started an experiment in “The Art of Dating In” in which my hubby and I attempted to plan evenings (dates) at home after the kiddos were in bed.

In my opinion, epic fail.

And here are my reasons why.

One thing my husband and I try to do is plan out time together each day to just “be” together.  That is already usually after the kids are tucked in bed.  We snuggle up in our room and watch some of our favorite tv shows & even a movie now and then.  It’s great down time.  Just hanging out with my best friend in a very similar fashion to  when we were dating.  But this, my friends, is not a date.

This too, is how our dating in experiment became.  Basically the same routine, only snuggled on the sofa with fresh baked cookies.  And this is why I feel it failed.  You see, the kids were still there.  If they decided to “need” something, they were completely able to get up, interrupt our date, and then whine for a while about not having a cookie too.  We were not removed from the distractions of home.  When I would return our empty saucer to the kitchen, I found myself reminded of the undone dishes.  No matter how hard I would try, that took away all relaxation and lessened enjoyment of the evening.  It just was not a “date.”

Don’t get me wrong…I understand (believe me, I really understand) that funds don’t always allow for a dinner & a movie, plus the cost of a sitter, etc.  We’ve lived that for a LONG time, and being in ministry, we continue to live it every day.  Our actual “away from home” dates are fairly spread out, compared to the recommended at least bi-monthly marriage advice you might get.  We just can’t afford it.  What we can do is seek out friends who are in the same place.  LONGING for a night out, but honestly can’t afford a sitter.  Date swap my friends.  And still on a small budget…it’s doable.  Sometimes we have an inexpensive meal…sometimes we share a meal depending on the restaurant.  We walk & window shop.  We TALK!  We DREAM!  We enjoy each others company.  That’s the point.  Enjoying each other.

But I find, my sanity is better kept when we can be away from the normal surroundings.  Even if only for 30 minutes.

DSCI0389

I also have this same mindset with vacationing.  Lately the popularity of a “stay-cation” has been growing.  I can’t wrap my mind around how anyone can find this relaxing?  We don’t vacation yearly (although I wish we could).  We simply can’t afford it…yet. (Getting back to our Dave Ramsey training & getting started building our savings…woohoo!)  Anyway, I would go insane with the idea of stay-cationing as my “refresh our family time”.  Especially, again, in a ministry role.  My husband definitely wouldn’t be “away” from work.  The everyday parts of being at home would still be part of that daily routine.  Sorry, but no “vacation” in that. There is something to be said about not having to clean the bathrooms or put away laundry or wash those dishes when on vacation.  Yes, I know it all has to be done when you get home…but if you are at home the temptation is staring you in the face everyday.  And you know as well as I do that you WILL do it.  (And please don’t think I mean we’re slobs on vacation…I do have to keep an amount of tidiness to keep sanity.) I also find it a LOT easier to “not answer the phone” and “unplug” when I’m away on a vacation that has been paid for and will NOT be cancelled mid trip.  We’ve promised each other that vacations (which don’t happen often) are for family bonding time & work WILL wait.  That’s hard to do when you’re home and work can knock on the door…seriously, would you pretend they aren’t there…no.

Anyway, those are my ponderings for today.

If you have mastered either of these two methods of dating/vacationing, PLEASE share.  🙂

Be blessed!

-De

I’m No Flylady

Last week I confessed that I am a “messy” personality.  I’m trying to learn to love that part of myself & overcome it at the same time.  Does that even make sense?  It’s a battle in my head.  I absolutely LOVE it when everything in our home is in its proper place.  I brings me great peace of mind.  Clutter causes me stress…it really does, but HOW can a house made up of 4 “messies” not have clutter??

This is my chore for today. FUN!

This is my chore for today. FUN!

I’ve been searching for the answer to that question for years!  I’ve read books, blogs, helps…you name it, I’ve probably tried it.

The first help resource I was given to try was Flylady.  I love her website and wonderful helps!  Really, if you struggle with a disorganized home, start here!

But I soon discovered that I will never be a Flylady.  It is NOT important to me that my sink is shining. 😉  While trying to follow the Flylady routine, I would get so discouraged because I just couldn’t keep that important step in order.  So, I would inevitably give up…for a while.

It wasn’t until years later that I read in the book The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark, and in it she revealed to me that I wasn’t alone with struggling with the “shiny sink.”  She referred to it as a “Home Base Zone” or that place that when it’s clean and orderly provides you the most peace of mind.  I have 2 of those, the kitchen counter and my bedroom.  What a revelation! (Yes, you may laugh at my craziness. I give you permission.)  You can ask my hubby, when these 2 areas are in order, I am able to sit and relax.  If they aren’t, I will stress and busy myself with a massive clean-out of everything until these are done.  The sad thing is, I know this now, but still these are the last 2 areas I usually get it in my cleaning routine.  Crazy, right?  Usually, because they are the simplest to conquer.

We are doing fairly well with our cleaning routine so far.  Not perfect, but ok.  But one thing that I’ve learned that I feel I need to share with other ladies like me.  It’s OK to be OK.

You may not always get every dish washed and put away before bed.  That’s ok.  I would much rather take that little bit of time to read a story to my children.

You may not always get all of the laundry folded and put away.  That’s ok.  That spontaneous game of hide-and-seek with the kids was much more fun.

You may not always be able to “eat off the floors.” That’s ok. That nature walk through the yard with the family sure was wonderful.

See my point?  Sometimes it is important that you make family more important to you than a spotless house!  Family make the house a home, not the complete absence of dust. 😉

Be encouraged. Forgive yourself if you don’t get EVERYTHING done.  Love and purpose time well spent with your family.  I promise, they won’t remember nor care that you left a dirty dish in the “not-so-shiny” sink.

Now, I must hit the laundry. 🙂

-De

Parenting a Princess

Today has been one of those days when I look at my sweet 5-year old princess and wonder, “Lord, can I really do this?!?”

She truly is her own person!  From the moment we found out we were expecting a girl, I’ve prayed that God would give me the wisdom and patience to raise her to be a true, beautiful, daughter of the King, a princess of the Eternal Kingdom.

Many days it is so easy, but then there are days like today and you can all but see the devilish horns. 😉  Just when you think all of your conversations and lessons on life are clicking in their little heads…well, you basically find yourself at square one…again.

I guess…no, I know it will just take persistence, an ABUNDANCE of  supernatural patience, many hours of prayer, and princess practice.  I am excited to see what God has in store for His very one-of-a-kind princess.

 I just pray I, in my imperfect humanity, don’t fail Him or her.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”  Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

1-3The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

4-7He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

8-10Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.” 1 Timothy 2:1-10 (The Message)

Be blessed!

-De

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home-Mom #1

1. Some days I consider having a sit in against laundry. Seriously, I can just sit within the mountain that either needs to be washed or put away…no one would ever find me there.

(Yes, I  know this doesn’t just apply to stay-at-home-moms, but work with me here.)

I’m not one to “wish” my kid’s youth away, I actually pray they live with Peter Pan’s motto.  But, when it comes to daily chores like laundry…oh I can’t WAIT for the day that I can land this nightmare of a chore in their capable laps.

Currently, the hubby and I generally work together on this one.  I wash.  He folds.  But, despite this, our laundry generally looks something like this:

(And honestly, that’s a nice pic…ours is generally a bit messier or piled on my bed.)

But you know what, I’m not too concerned about it.  I’m thankful we have clothes to become a laundry mountain.  We’ve been so very blessed.  So, I may have to throw my dress pants and/or shirt back into the dryer for 30mins to de-wrinkle it.  Or even *gasp* bring out the iron.  My children won’t be small forever, and I’m learning to enjoy them while they are small!  When they aren’t interested in filling every spare piece of paper with worlds of color or notes that only they can read, then, maybe I’ll force myself to remove the mountain.

-De