A Good Season

We didn’t get much snow in Texas, but this was our one taste of a winter wonderland while in Georgia for the holidays:

If I tried to pen what has been our life since my last post, it would seem uneventful, but these days have actually been anything but.   In the last few days, we…

1)      started school again for the 2nd semester

2)      rearranged 2/3 of the upstairs furniture

3)      painted the youngest daughter’s room

4)      revamped my husband’s and son’s closets

The whole paint/ closet cleanout/ urniture rearrangement was a Malachi 3: 8-12 blessing for us after a friend decided to get rid of the furniture she’d kept in storage for years.    It all began with her offering my husband a number of suits that she’d kept after the death of her father.     This man was what the kids call an “OG” (original gangster–LOL), so among the nicer church suits were also a number of pastel purples and fire engine reds with the shoes and hats to match.    I found out later that the red suit matched his red Mercedes convertible–too much.    Anyway, in ridding her high-priced storage area of the suits, she began to look at furniture.    She then offered us a formal sofa and love seat–something we’ve never invested in given our largely unused formal living room area.    Right now, we have our desktop computer in that room, and a sofa that the dog likes to sleep on when he thinks we’re not looking.    Now, we have a beautiful formal set which has the same cherry wood, traditional style of the dining room set given to us after my father passed.   With the addition of fabric, this area is going to be fabulous!   I just pray that we can preserve this WHITE furniture in a house with a busy 7-year-old and 2 dogs who think we’re just here to make them feel at home.   I won’t post a picture right now with the house in disarray; I’ll save the shots for a before/ after photo experience.

Well, with an almost brand new set in our now sincerely formal living room, we moved the dog’s secret bed-with-no-breakfast upstairs to the game room.     The futon that once provided extra bedding for our kids’ guest was now available for our son’s bedroom, giving him the extra room that he wanted to spread out those increasingly long legs.   His twin bunk beds now grace the room of the youngest, who’d had a dresser drawer that had seen better days.    I’d made a decision to get her a captain’s bed, the one with the drawers underneath.     How was I going to buy all this furniture, in light of everything else we needed to do, without debt?     Problem solved. 

I write to take my boast in the Lord.    We’ve had such a tremendous turnaround going into the new year until my head spins just thinking about what the last week has brought us.    In addition to what I’ve listed above, there’ve been business partnerships, contracts, speaking engagements–so much to share that I’ll have to spread it out over the weeks and months to come.    Stay tuned!

Our pastor’s words at the beginning of this year have come from 2 Kings 17, and the message has been so powerful in our lives.   Last year’s word was based on being a priest in the home/ community/ workplace, etc.; this year’s focus is what happens to the priest (us)  as we step into the presence of the King.    I’ve been basking in His Word and enjoying the fruits of this season.    There are a number of confessions we’re making and seeing them come to fruition.    I may share them, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, but without context and teaching it might not make sense.    Just rejoice with me, for I know that,  like the tribulation-filled 2010,  it will pass, too.   Yet, it is a good season and I’m thankful for it.

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Back to School

I actually completed over 90% of my list!

Tammy thankfully took the time to blog about the blessing of housekeeping from a book by Cheryl Mendolson. The book, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, incidentally, is listed on Ambleside Online as a resource for a home economics book, and I’m almost convinced that I will use it as my daughter and I learn some things about housework and its larger purpose together. According to Ms. Mendolson (and Tammy),

Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all things you wish and need to do and feel in your home. . .it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.
~. . .what a traditional woman did that made her home warm and alive was not dusting and laundry. Someone can be hired to do those things. . .Her real secret was that she identified herself with her home. Of course, this did not always turn out well. A controlling woman might make her home suffocating. A perfectionist’s home might be chilly and forbidding. But it is more illuminating to think about what happened when things went right. Then her affection was in the soft sofa cushions, clean linens, and good meals; the pantry; her intelligence in the order and healthfulness of her home; her good humor in its light and air. She lived her life not only through her own body but through the house as an extension of her body; part of her relation to those she loved was embodied in the physical medium of the home she made.

When I wrote the Fall Break post on last week, I almost immediately experienced “analysis paralysis.” How will I get all of this done? I can’t do it all, I thought. I became absolutely depressed by Wednesday when I completed the item “sleep later” on two days straight. It became obvious by that time that several of my “to do” were in conflict with each other. Also, as much as the baseboards needed cleaning, I was dreading the task (probably why it’s taken so long). My knees and back are not what they used to be, but God in His goodness sent an angel—my five-year-old, who thinks cleaning with Mom is almost as fun as dollhouses. So she got down on her knees, I got down on my knees, and we began to go around the floor. The baseboards looked good, and it felt even better to accomplish something that was slightly difficult for me—so good, in fact, that we kept going. We cleaned the bathroom and kitchen doors—it’s amazing the dirt and dust that can accumulate on a door. The doors looked so good that we kept going–to the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets now look brand new, but alas, we stopped. I’m excited for the kids as they’ll get the railings on the stairs during the next break, and praise God for the scientist who invented ibuprofen (smile).

My strength is renewed, I’m looking forward to this week, and I actually think everyone is ready to get back to school, believe it or not. The oldest actually started working to get ahead—can you hear the Halleluiah Chorus? She’s very proud of the fact that she’s ahead—way ahead—in her reading list, and I think it motivated her to get ahead in other areas. The five-year-old kept asking, “Is today still not a school day?” It was interesting this week to see her at play, which often entailed some educational component (making a book, growing a plant from pepper seeds, making hats with paper and feathers), but in her mind, school means breaking out the books. Bad momma, but I’ll get better. I still need to look over her materials for the next couple of weeks, but I still have time tonight if I manage it well.

We’ve got about a week and a half of “normal” activities, and then we’re taking off for Vicksburg, Mississippi. We’re studying the Civil War, and the plan is to bring it to life by visiting one of the major battle sites. We’ll also see a bit of Natchez, billed as one of the wealthiest antebellum cities in the country. Although I realize the story told from a Confederate perspective might be different version than that of the history books (that will be a part of our studies, too), but I still am thrilled to make our studies leap off the page. Sure do hope you’re doing well, too.