1. The following is a great article on how busyness controls our lives in the American culture: http://intentionalbygrace.com/3-pitfalls-of-a-productivity-driven-society/#comment-117245
My daughter is not even three, and I have people telling me that once she is ready for extracurricular activities, I will be like everybody else, constantly busy and at one activity or another. I already feel myself bucking that statement. Partly because I don’t like to do things the way everybody else does, just because that’s how others say it should be. Mostly, however, I want to make sure I leave time for family and focus on continually building quality relationships with my children and spouse! Of course I want my child to be involved in activities that interest her, but I do not want these activities to distract from what should be our number one priority (God). The only way I can teach that is by being an example myself and making that activity a priority.
2. I am currently reading the following book: “Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families”, by Michelle Anthony (http://michelleanthony.org/#/welcome). I wanted to share with you an excerpt that greatly inspired me and an idea that I wish to replicate in my own life:
“Creating an environment where your children from the earliest days ask a very important question is critical for their faith development. The critical question that service asks is simply, ‘What needs to be done?’ This is one of the best questions you can teach your children to ask. To have them walk into any room, situation, or relationship and ask this will change the way they see their world. It’s simple It’s profound. Yet this is a posture that will not naturally be cultivated in your children unless you set out an intentional course, making it a priority.” “In my home we chose not to have chores. You’re probably thinking, ‘Wow, your kids must have enjoyed that!’ Well, actually we still implemented the chores concept, but instead of referring to them as chores (which they would see as something to ‘get done and out of the way’) we decided to call them acts of service. This might sound silly to you to think that we merely changed the name, but I wanted them to understand that what they were really doing was serving our family”
I just thought the author’s concept was a great way to instill hearts of servitude in our lives. It certainly (at least for me) makes it easier to do the ordinary things in life, such as clean the kitchen or (occasionally) hang my husband’s endless mound of laundry for him. It causes me to pause and think. What can I do to serve my family or community today?
3. My MOPS meeting this week is cause for inspiration. In truth, I did not want to go this week. We had just arrived back in town from a long trip the night before my meeting. I wanted nothing more than to sleep in (as much as my toddler would allow) and be completely lazy that day. From the prompting of my husband (was he just trying to get us out of the house??), I went anyway. I am so glad I did. It was actually our last formal meeting of the year. I was able to hear many testimonies of women who warrant their own posts. These are brave women who have overcome so much (from suffering loss of a limb and having a husband serving our country, to overcoming bullying, to defeating deep recesses of depression) and have come out stronger, better people. I believe this group is a long standing answer to a constant prayer of mine: that I can find meaningful friendships with other women. I had just that during college, but somewhere between working full time, moving to cities where I knew virtually nobody, and beginning a marriage and family, I have been lonely (for female friendship) for quite some time. I can’t blame society or others in and of itself, as my body language and tendency towards privacy and introversion hindered me from opening up to people. I hope (and pray) to continue to develop some of these friendships. I strongly encourage you to find some sort of group where you can develop friendships as well. You may have to force yourself to go, but keep pushing. (I am telling myself the very same thing.) We need positive female relationships. It is part of living the extraordinary life.
4. Finally, I leave you with a link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2TCeSP4RQQ) for one of my favorite songs as a child. Based on the following scripture: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)