Monday, November 7, 2011

Juggling and My Mama

Sometimes, I feel more like a semi-professional juggler than anything else in life.  I am pretty sure that every person in life feels like that sometime or another.  Currently, I am juggling being a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, student, teacher, volunteer, cook, maid, dog walker, personal assistant, etc.  I know everyone of you reading this has felt stretched in a million ways.  We all get that feeling that there are not enough hourse in a day to complete all of the tasks required of us.  We all worry that we might not be doing the right thing, that we don't have what we need, we are concerned about family members, we worry about our children...our minds are going a gazillion miles an hour.

Today, I had the blessing of having some of my stresses lessened.  My Mama came up from SC today.  She took the kiddos to the library for story time, to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, then brought them back home and did their home school work with them.  The kids had such a good day.  I was able to get the house cleaned, laundry done, gave the dog a bath and long walk, changed the sheets on all the beds, finished homework, and so much more.  I am grateful to have a Mama who was willing to step in and help me out today.  Thanks, Mama!

I hope that I can be a person who pays attention to what is going on in the lives of other people.  I hope I can be a person who reaches out to help out when someone needs a burden lifted.  I hope that we can ALL learn to pay attention to the needs of those around us.  The smallest gesture can take a load of stress off of someone who needs a break.  I challenge you to be like my Mama...take a look around at the people around you, and help them out!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

One of my favorite ministries of all time is Operation Christmas Child organized by Samaritan's Purse.  For many, many years, Mark and I have stuffed shoe boxes full of toiletries, toys, art supplies, and candy.  We loved assembling these gifts, turning them in, and knowing that they were going to reach children all over the world. 

Cecely and Titus earn money each week for doing chores around the house.  They earn bonus money for things they do without being asked or for jobs that are out-of-the-ordinary.  The two of them saved money for over a year for spending money for our trip to Disney World in September.  With that money, the children were very careful what they spent there money on.  Since we've been back from Disney, they have been saving their earned money in jars in their rooms.

We've been talking about Operation Christmas Child for a couple of weeks. The kids decided to use the money they had been saving to buy things to fill their own shoe boxes.  I was so proud of them!  We went to Target and Walmart today after church.  Cecely and Titus went down every aisle.  They didn't want to buy junk.  They wanted to spend their money on gifts that they would want if they were receiving the boxes.  They kept up with how much money they had spent and almost spent to their last dollar for other children.

I think it is so important to teach children to care for others.  Operation Christmas Child gives our family the opportunity to help people that we will never meet this side of heaven.  But, when we do get to heaven, I cannot wait to meet the children that received the boxes we have filled through the years!  Cecely and Titus are both compassionate and giving children.  I am so proud of them.  They know they won't have spending money for awhile, but they were more than willing to spend their hard earned money on strangers.  I pray that they will continue to develop their ministerial hearts!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall, Autumn, Harvest

Fall, autumn, harvest...whatever you call it, it is beautiful.  This time of year is my favorite.  Watching the leaves change from green to shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and brown is fascinating. The kids and I had full doing a unit study by Amanda Bennett called "Autumn Treasures".  During the study, we went on leaf hunts and nature walks.  We collected leaf samples, made leaf rubbings, and wrote about the leaves we found.  My family and I are blessed to live in an area of the country that comes alive with color in the fall.  We have been on several adventures around Western NC to see fall at it's best.  We have explored Chimney Rock Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and other places close by.  We have been able to behold God's beauty, splendor, and majesty!
                                          Cecely and Titus on the Blue Ridge Parkway
                                          Me and the kids on a nature walk at the Carl Sandburg home.
                                          Titus and Cecely at the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville

Fall is an inspiring time of year for me.  It is a reminder of the Scriptures that speak of "a time for every season...a time to be born, a time to die...", and "the old has gone and the new has come".  Seeing the trees lose their leaves and prepare for winter reminds me of the frailty of life, but also I reminded the hope of new things come with the spring.  This is an opportunity for me to reconnect with my Savior, to die to myself, and to renew my relationship with Him.  The promise of the spring is around the corner!