Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dreams

I was reading an inspirational “daily” that I get in my email each morning and it was talking about dreams.  Not dreams that you get while you sleep, but dreams that you have for your future.  It started me thinking…… Do I even still have dreams?

My immediate answer was Yes!  Of course I do!  I dream of someday actually completing the projects that I have going.  ALL of them!  I dream of the day when I will have an organized, clean and peaceful house where everything has a place and everything can be found in its place when needed.  I dream of the day when all of my children will behave and act like they have been taught and when they will all become successful, productive adults but most of all will be strong in their faith in God.  I dream of the day when I can do all the things I want to do now but just don’t have the time to do.

But, are these really the dreams that matter?

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays.    Ecclesiastes 1:2-4

All of these “dreams” are vain.  They ARE vanity of vanities!  They are totally caught up in what “I” want, what would make my life here on earth much more pleasant and not focused on what God wants.  When I look at all of the arguments and political statements we are being bombarded with these days prior to the election, I can’t help but think “‘vanity of vanities’ that is all we are surrounded with!”  In fact, Ecclesiastes has something to say about that too.

The perverse are unwilling to be corrected, and the number of the foolish is boundless.  Ecclesiastes 1:15

Vanity is such a serious sin in our world today.  It is so overwhelmingly present that we are all numb to it — especially if it concerns ourselves.  It is easy to see others’ vanities, but our own we explain away with so many excuses that we think that “if only” others understood, they would understand why I am the way I am. But, as I tell my own kids regularly, excuses don’t change the reality. Period.

I do believe it is good to have dreams.  I also believe that in our dreams especially, we need to examine them carefully to make sure that our dreams aren’t following the path of the world around us and taking us to vanity.  Our dreams should lead us to the good, the noble, and the pure happiness that is available to us through God alone.   Hmmm, I think I have my November retreat’s reflection…

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new schedules, new challenges

This school year has started off and amazingly, we are already 4 weeks into our year.  It is hard to realize that next week is OCTOBER!  Wow, time really flies especially when life is insanely busy.  That seems to be my challenge this year…. balance!  See, if I have our school year caught up, work graded, and everyone pretty well on track, then the house and the business work falls behind.  If I am caught up with the business work, then the house and school is behind.  I just haven’t figured out how to keep it all within a workable balance.

Today’s first reading is from Proverbs 21, verses 1-6 and 10-13.  The verse that seemed to “grow” in my gaze was verse 5.  It says…

 The hardworking is thoughtful, and all is gain; too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

What this passage says to me is that when I am thoughtful and plan my days, living calmly and structured, all is good.  But, when I hurry through everything trying to get everything done, then I am left with want or an emptiness.  Hmmm, this is so true!  And yet, I haven’t yet figured out HOW to be more of the thoughtful hard worker.  It seems all I have time to be is a hurrying, rushing worker who is exhausted at the end of her days.  I KNOW that this isn’t the way God wants me to live my life, but I wish someone from Bible times could have written specifically to me about how to be a Proverbs 31 woman in 2012.  I think the difference is that in the times when Proverbs was written, no woman ‘did’ do it all alone.  She had her mother, aunts, sisters, and lots of other extended family and neighbors helping her.  She also wasn’t trying to ‘help’ her husband with the business too, but just trying to be a support to him by having his laundry done, meals made and clothes made.

The reality is that I am living the hand that I have been dealt.  We aren’t in a position business-wise where we can hand over what I do to someone else (who we would have to pay) and honestly, we’re not sure we even want to do that as that brings risks and challenges all its own.   We are still strongly convicted that God is wanting us to continue to homeschool our children and I know without a doubt, that our household runs smoother and more organized if “I” am the leader of the household operations.  So, the challenge that faces me is to determine how God can part the waters of my overbooked calendar and allow this all to pass through on dry ground.  I know _I_ can NOT do it.  But, all things are possible with God.  So, that seems to be the key… to ALWAYS walk WITH God….  just as closely as I can!!

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to rest or not to rest?

It is Sunday, and a day of rest.  But, what exactly does that mean or should it mean?

I have friends who follow this rule strictly.  They go to Church in the morning, go home and eat, take a nap and then, get up and go back to church in the evening.

I have other friends who have no qualms about working on Sunday, doing their yard work, housework, and even outside work.  It isn’t seen as anything different from any other day.

I have wavered between the two, mostly confused as to what we are really being called to do, or not to do, to keep this commandment.  Most of my Sundays have been mixes of both.  I try to rest as much as possible (usually taking a nap sometime in the afternoon), but I also do some light work.  Laundry is something that seems to ALWAYS need done in this household of 6/7.  So, I usually switch around a load or two if needed although I avoid it if possible.  I also tend to spend more time playing games with the family, on email and Facebook, catching up with friends and family.  And, I usually end up doing some calendaring or lesson planning on Sunday.

For a long time, I felt very guilty for doing anything besides nap, games, and catching up with family and friends.  But, now I don’t.  When I do my calendaring and lesson planning on Sunday, I find I am much more open to God and His plan for our week.  I tend to be a lot less stressed by a crazy chaotic week when I plan it out on Sunday and somehow, it always seems to come together after I have spent time turning my heart and mind towards God.  My hope is that it also helps me start the week then on Monday in a much better frame of mind, ready to go forward and to follow today’s second reading from James, Chapters 1 and 2.  I hope to ….

“Be doers of the word and not hearers only”

If nothing else, the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 7 helps guide me further, saying,

“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

So, after receiving God’s word and Christ’s body and blood on Sunday morning, that is when I am the strongest.  So, then keeping my focus towards Him when planning for my family and for our homeschool, I hope that what comes out is much more focused on His plan and not my own.  It also helps me to guide our family and school into being “doers of the word”.

At least that is my prayer and my hope…

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