I decided at the beginning of the summer that we needed to "unplug." Less T.V. and computer, more God. Once I got off the computer, I realized how much of my time gets sucked away when I am on it! I also realized how I really, really, really needed to be more of a "present mom." Not presents like gifts, but present like really there! When I'm not "really there," well, you know the saying... "When the cat's away, the mice will play!" Messes. Fighting. Sin. Not the godly character I would like to cultivate in my children! At the end of each day I would realize, another day had gone by without reading Scripture or praying with them. My excuse was, "that's Dallas' responsibility," which is true, but his job is different from week to week and he is not always able to get it into his schedule, either. So it's my responsibility, as well!
Something else I have been working on all summer is getting my thoughts organized, then getting them on paper, then following the plan. Once upon a time, I had a notebook organizer. I made it up myself, with printed planner sheets from MicrosoftWorks and plain notebook paper. The dividers were recycled from something else, I just flipped them over and wrote on the backs. I had everyone trained to just look in the book for chores, shopping list, homeschool contacts, etc. And guess what... it worked! It worked really well, too! At that time I had three high schoolers, one little'un in school, and then came the babies... February 2003, October 2004, July 2006, and June 2009. Throw in six wrestling seasons, Hubby's bout with cancer, rebellious teenagers and very little sleep. Oh, and my health crashed. (Barely any progesterone and phase II adrenal fatigue.) All I could do was survive. Barely.
Anyway, I forgot all about that handy-dandy notebook organizer! The Holy Spirit poked and prodded at me all summer to get an organizer. I really didn't want to make one again, so I looked and looked and looked online for the "perfect" notebook to buy. Several had a lot of what I needed but not ALL of what I needed, and they are expensive. So guess what? I made one after all! I need full-size pages (I am less likely to lose it that way!) I need a weekly planner with lots of writing space per day, a calender, a menu plan, and a shopping list. I found just what I needed at Organized Home. I went to Staples and bought dividers with built-in folders to store pages that don't have holes. My other sections include: schedules (MicrosoftWord2007), cleaning schedules from Money Saving Mom, chore charts from Homeschooling at the Speed of Life, Bible, (just different ideas I find or notes), goals (ideas from Sarah Mae), old menu plans to refer back to, and a school section, with attendance charts, notes from homeschool conventions of the past, copies of CPI forms, copy of supervising teacher contract, etc. The theme of this organizer is
"The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands."
(This verse and picture is on the front cover of my notebook.)
Through all the toil I also suffered with some depression. I have a lot of back and neck pain and normally visit my chiropractor weekly. But our insurance decided I go too much, I guess, because they have cut me off. So every visit comes out of pocket now. I have suffered more aches and pains than any 40-year-old should have! Sometimes the pain was debilitating. That's depressing. We made our first real estate investment and it made a huge impact on our finances up front. (We're pretty broke until we get the house ready for a renter.) That's depressing. I could hardly walk through my basement due to piled-up junk, misplaced toys, and construction supplies. That was frustrating, and a tough task to attack while having a lot of hip pain, especially while going up & down stairs.
But God is good! He is patient! And He wants me to ask for His help- which is a good thing since I need so much of it!!
I also haven't blogged much because my computer was in the shop several times. Mr. Fix-It did a clean up but couldn't find anything seriously wrong--- at first. He ended up saving all our data, wiping out the computer and re-installing the programs. When that didn't work, he told me that it is just time to get a new one. (Not what you want to hear when you are flat broke.) So I am still using it, and asking God to heal it. So far its working! But next time I drop off the face of the earth, that just might be WHY!
If anyone actually had the patience to read this entire article, thank you for your time and patience! I know, Laurie, you are probably the only one, so, thank you!