Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Where is my party?

We have been talking lately at church. Drifting. I brought up the parable of the prodigal son, which on first reading is nearly a tale of resurrection-- the lost child is found!! But how many of us have homecomings like that? Even if we have forsaken our family, do we return in one day? Or is it a slow process of learning our issues were not as divisive or our family was not as heartless as we thought, where we start with the occasional good memory and eventually reach the occasional phone call?
More to the point, how many of us never physically left the presence of our family, like the jealous older brother? Where is our fatted calf and grand party? A friend sent me this from his daily devotions:

Family dynamics are a strange thing.  It's funny but in what I do outside the home, I feel at peace and justified and ready to take joy when others do better than me and never feel short-changed when I think others do less than me. I teach Sunday School every week without a break and with complete joy. I attend Choir where I cannot sing and happily celebrate the beautiful voices of my friends. I even see my baked goods going unsold at the fundraiser while my friend's goods--using MY recipe-- are sold in seconds, and am happy for us all. Yes, I get twinges of discontent, but they are easy to shake off and let go. I never take it personally for more than a minute.

 Yet, at home, it's a different story. I see someone expecting praise and encouragement for doing something once when I do it everyday without even acknowledgement, and I feel unappreciated. I repeat the same instruction every day and it falls on deaf ears, then my child comes home, reporting this wonderful lesson from her teacher, who is SO clever. Exactly, word for word, what I have been saying. I want to scream! My husband, asking why I waste so much time on my crafting, then two months later seeing a craft stall and telling me I should be more like this woman who puts proper effort in. I'm sure I dish out similar injustice to my family. I know I am more impatient with my own kids, and have lower expectations. 

I love my family, and they love me. But it's so easy to drift away from people you see everyday. We treat strangers with more consideration than we treat our family, our 'good mornings' are cheerier after we leave the house, our 'please' and 'thank you' easier to say. It's so easy to feel like a drudge, a disappointment, an inconvenience, an annoyance, a martyr.  And so easy to treat our family this way, being too lazy to notice how much or how well or how sincerely they are in our lives. And we forget that we are privileged to eat together, wake up together, chat together, work together, play together, everyday together, with people we care about us and who love us, who also forget that it is a privilege.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


One month in and time to reflect and make course corrections!
Me:  Fruit, veg and water lasted about a week so time to renew that. I have made the first draft of my personal fitting, and the first set of alteration--Progress!
Kids:  They have been doing quite well on household chores--YAY!  The big one is more natural with being organized and I see him happy that the rest of the household is fitting him better. Little one is beginning to consider priorities before play. Added bonus:  both have been waking themselves up on time, so I don't have to do the 'bedtime' fight.
Community:  Girls' club has met, only one girl showed, but we did some fun crafting, sitting out on the grass painting. Sunday school is having the theme of "be not afraid" this year, we are beginning our focus on stepping out of our 'comfort zone'. And finally, last night I attended the Annual meeting for our local theater club and managed to volunteer to look after the junior members, with our first task to sort through the props and wardrobe.
Not bad for a start!

 Somebody asked me about giving up my church time for the Sunday School. My little lambs can't read yet, what they learn now is such an important building block that I spend a lot of effort just making sure everything I do and say encourages them to grow and be confident. Which means preparing for my lesson takes quite a bit of soul inspection. And each lesson needs to have one sentence they can repeat for their parents. All I can really say is I know this is where I am supposed to be, and I wish I were as sure about some of my other activities. Wouldn't it be great if I felt a calling to never do housework again? or knew for certain that my hoard is going to be important and I need to keep it ALL.

To round off and encourage myself, I have made the following progress this year:

  • Finished re-making 2 skirts, rescuing them from the disaster bin.
  • shortened the sleeves on 3 tops
  • widened the hip on one top so it buttons properly
  • cleared the junk drawer in my kitchen
  • sorted my closet to fit my shoes in
  • kept caught up with ironing
  • washed the dishes before going to bed. Sounds simple, but the empty sink in the morning has made a big difference to my attitude
 reach high!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Welcome to 2014

Another new year, a time to review, close chapters, and open new ones.
2013 was very busy in many ways, but at the same time, I'm hard pressed to say what exactly kept me busy. Such is life! I have finished some projects and planned others, but so far this year I seem to be concentrating on cooking and cleaning. I have a friend who, in my humble opinion, is much less competent at cooking. Yet he has catered an event for a community gathering! So I have been inspired to do a bit of experimental and bulk cooking. So far I have:

  • made lamb in the slow cooker (I don't much like lamb so I'm trying to find a way to cook it that we will all eat. otherwise I only cook it when I'm planning to fast.)
  • made barley in the rice cooker
  • made vegetarian tacos with red lentils and bought taco seasoning
  • Made and froze a bulk batch of meatballs
  • made and froze a batch of twice-baked potatoes
Tomorrow I will make a batch of cabbage rolls. The lamb was a bit overcooked because I started it too soon but I was able to enjoy it. The taco lentils were a surprising success, the red lentils gave a nice color. And I now have a few after-school lunch options for the kids!
Finally, let me just list a few goals.

For myself:
  • eat more fruit or vegetables and drink more water
  • make a personal fit pattern for myself that fits excellently
  • sew stuffed animals for the craft market
  • experiment with macrame again 
For my kids:
  • get them to take responsibility for household tasks
  • help them to keep a balance of study, other interests, helping others, and rest 
For my community:
  • get more members in my girls' crafting club and raise enough funds to buy a hot plate (for melting chocolate and wax)
  • keep my Sunday school class interested and learning at the same time(not easy!)
  • Get involved in Town Council especially regarding the Diamond Festival (don't complain if you're not willing to help fix it!)
Reach high!