Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

     Well, I'm dusting off the cobwebs on the keyboard to give you an update on what's been going on around here.  It seems like it's been a long time since I last posted, but I think that's just because so much has happened since then! 

     Where to start... well, since my last update, we have gotten together and hosted a Cub Scout Camp-out here on the property, dealt with the "bug" that's been making it's way through the school (runny noses, coughs, general yuckiness), gotten all the students through the last week of the first quarter (with everyone making Honor Roll!), a small remodelling project at my parent's house, and finished up yesterday afternoon with an open-house/dedication of their new place!  Whew, it makes me tired just to type it all over again!  And here it is Monday again!  

     This week is full as well.  We have a short week at school, with only two "normal" days.  ("Normal" is just a word in the dictionary when you have anything to do with kids!)  Then Wednesday is our first field trip, and Thursday and Friday we are out of school.  I won't be home for those days however, as I am heading down to Pensacola for the Ladies Celebration I try to go to every year.  I always enjoy it, but it has a very full schedule too.  

     Hubby and I were going over the calendar, and we came to the realization that we have something major planned for every weekend from now until the end of the year!  Some of these are: scout training for Hubby; possible out-of-town weekend trip; Hubby's parents arriving and his ordination service; and Thanksgiving festivities.  I would really like to fit some fall cleaning in there somewhere, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen... *sigh*  And of course, then we're right up into December, and we all know how life slows down around the holidays, right?  HA!  

     So, how do the rest of you keep your sanity in your busy lives?  Someone asked just this week how I am managing, and I basically said I just keep doing one thing at a time until I run out of things to do, or I have to go to bed.  Somehow, I never seem to run out of things to do though...  I try to keep the right attitudes by having a "ticker-tape" Scripture verse in the back of my mind.  I have to admit, it's usually Philippians 4:13!  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Because, after all, isn't that the reason we do can do anything?  Through Christ's strength?  

     Which is a good thing, because, if this was all riding on my ability, the boys would live on boxes of cereal, which they would then have to cobble into clothes since Mommy hadn't gotten the laundry done in twelve days, and Hubby would probably just move into his workplace, where no crazy lady was wandering through in her school uniform giving everyone demerits for breathing in an inappropriate manner!  :) 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Please Leave a Message After the Tone...

     Last night in church, our pastor began a series of messages on Hosea.  I have heard him do this series before, but it has been several years.  This is what comes from being under the same pastor for most of your life...and it also comes from being said pastor's kid for your whole life!  :)

     Anyway, Hosea is a book that you don't hear from much.  He's way in the back of the O.T., and let's face it,  Jonah is the "celebrity" of the minor prophets...what with the big fish and all.  But Hosea has some interesting things in his own right.  To begin with, God gave him verbal instruction on who to marry.  That would certainly seem to make life a little easier, wouldn't it?  I mean, no more wondering "Is this the ONE?  Or maybe that one over there?"  Nope, just wait for your message from the Lord to send you right to their door.  Unfortunately for Hosea, God sent him right to the door of the "wrong" person!  Just think about poor Hosea, telling his parents "Well, Mom and Dad, God told me I was supposed to marry this girl.  Now, don't freak out, but her job is a little unusual."  The woman God told Hosea to marry was, to put it bluntly, a prostitute.

     But Hosea trusted God in the plan of his life and obeyed the word of the Lord.  He went and took a lady named Gomer to be his wife.   And they did not live happily ever after.  

     You see, God was using Hosea as a living example of the Lord's willingness to forgive and love the nation of Israel no matter how many times they turned away from Him.  (And, of course, He feels that way about us too.)  But one thing jumped out at me last night, and that was this statement made by our pastor: "Sometimes God has to build a message in your life before He gives you a ministry."  God told Hosea to do certain things that I'm sure Hosea didn't understand at the time.  But God built a message out of Hosea's life, and then He gave Hosea the ministry of telling people about the redemptive forgiveness of God's love.  

    So, here's the thing: what message is God building in my life for a ministry that I may not have yet?  I know there are things in my life (and I'm sure in your's too!) where I wonder "What purpose could this possibly serve?!"  And if you look back over your life, I'm sure you can see things that God caused to happen in your life that prepared you for some ministry opportunity that you are undertaking right now.  For example:  the time that I spent helping out at the school before the boys were born has stood me in good stead now that I'm basically in charge! I never thought I would be doing what I'm doing now when I was helping out there!  

    It makes a difference in how you go about your daily activities if you keep in the back of your mind that God is building a message in your life so that one day your will be able to minister to someone else.  I think this is especially true of SAHMs because so often our work goes unnoticed and under-appreciated.  But maybe some day we will be able to help another young mother who is bogged down in her life of runny noses and cleaning up throw-up in the middle of the night.  Or maybe you will be able to be an example of patience in the midst of adversity to your own little ones as they watch the way you handle the many "crises" that occur daily.  

     So, I'm going to take a page from Hosea's life, and try to remember that God is building a message in my life for a future ministry He has for me.  Unfortunately, with the "messages" I'm learning right now, it feels like a boarding school for hyperactive boys may be my future "ministry"...  :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

What We've Been Up To...

     We have had yet another busy couple of weeks here in our household!  It's funny; just when you think that you're maxed out, you find that there's another big event on the horizon!  Of course, the first thought is "Where are we going to find time for that!??", but somehow, the Lord blesses with His strength, and you are able to get all you need to get done completed.  Notice I said "need to get done", because, my theory is, if it didn't get done, and everyone is still alive, and the house is not destroyed, it must not have needed to get done, right?  :)  I suppose this doesn't always apply, but it make me feel better anyway!

     Last week we had tent revival at our church.  This is a long-standing tradition in my life, dating back to the "dark ages" when I was a kid.  My dad started holding tent revivals with the same travelling evangelist when I was about 11 or so.  I have been to a tent meeting with them every year since then, except for the time I was away at college!  So, it is always a joy to see them again every year, and I am so glad that this tradition can be a part of my boys life now.

     The services are always wonderful, but this year had an added blessing.  On the third evening, a local pastor came and preached a message that was really a blessing.  (Shout-out to my blogging friend "Counting God's Little Blessings", as it was her father who preached the message!)  Well, First-Born decided it was time for him to ask Jesus into his heart, so he went forward that night and did so.  We are very glad about this, and hope he continues to grow in the Lord.  

     The week of tent revival makes the week of school a little more difficult.  You're dealing with tired kids, tired teachers, and busier schedules.  So, we usually give the Friday after off of school for those students who attended faithfully throughout the week.  This is always a welcome break for everyone.  Of course, I found a way to fill up the day with errands and other things that had to be done!  

     Saturday was also somewhat busy, but in a fun way.  My sister is due to have her baby at the end of November, so she had her baby shower on Saturday.  She is having a girl, so it was fun to pick out some cute girl things for her!  It is amazing how much more things there are in the stores for little girls than there are for little boys!  It's like manufacturers think that little boys need less clothes or are less loved by their parents!  :)  My sister received so many things that her baby will be able to change clothes every five minutes until she is a year old and never have to wear the same outfit twice!  They live in a fairly small trailer, and we joked that they would have to buy another house just to put all their baby stuff in!  :)

     Sunday is always a busy day for us, but this Sunday was even more busy because we had a Scouting activity to go to in the afternoon.  So, Mommy packed a picnic lunch to eat in the van, and off to the zoo we went!  The boys had a great time, and we got to see the five very cute baby lion cubs that were born a couple of months ago!  

    To top off all that activity, I am now officially running the school "solo!"  My sister, who has been the principal up to this point, has now left for maternity leave, so I am the main teacher in the school now.  Hubby is there two day a week to help out.  Today was the first day for the new arrangement, and it went well, I think.  The students may have a different story, as they are used to having two teachers at their beck and call!  This will be an exercise in patience for them and for me!  

     Well, that about wraps up what we've been up to since the last post.  Also, my five minutes is up, the microwave is beeping, and the washing machine has must be time to get back to work!  :)