Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Truly Important Things I've Done This Summer

This is a follow-up to my post back at the beginning of August.  I wanted to keep track of what I did & keep myself accountable so to speak.  So here are some of the important things that I’m happy I have filled my summer with so far (in no particular order)J.

v  Went out west to hang out with my family & dear friends the Sawatzky’s (missionary friends from when we were in Africa).
v  Took the kids camping...and along with Ben got to see them all catch their first fish.
v  Sat on the couch with my kids & read stories.
v  Went for a walk with my wonderful friend Jodi & thoroughly enjoyed adult conversation.
v  Hung out with a new homeschooling friend & her kids.
v  Went to the of those times with my good friend Kim.
v  Spent time with Kyla (sister in law) & her kids.
v  Enjoyed an afternoon with the Browns...visiting for me & play for the kids.
v  Helped get the Elliotts moved in.
v  Played games.
v  Spent some extra time at camp with Amanda when we picked her up to let her show us around & tell stories.
v  Took the kids on a field trip to a honey farm.
v  Spent an afternoon/evening with our dear friends the Elliott’s.
v  Sat & chatted with my sister Jodi at a church potluck when she came through unexpectadly.
v  Talked on the phone for over an hour with my dear cousin Beckie.
v  Put my camera down & enjoyed the moment.
v  Played catch with Benjamin & enjoyed his smile.
v  Enjoyed holding Kirby’s hand when he was needing extra closeness.
v  Cherished the moments when Amanda comes to me out of the blue & says, I love you Mommy.
v  I have sat here at the computer trying to work on something...and instead I have been stopped in my tracks by my kids’ laughter...and I have just sat here & enjoyed itJJ.

There is still much more I want to do...and I will update again, but I feel good about the truly important things we’ve been able to do this summerJ.  What have you been up to this summer?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Benjamin loves playing tricks on people.  Whether it’s scaring someone or making them believe something that’s not...he LOVES it when he can pull it off.  Well today I decided to play backJ.  Benjamin ran to Sobeys to pick up some milk for me.  We have a system where he takes my phone along & calls me when he gets to Sobeys & then when he’s on his way home so that I don’t worry about him.  (He’s old enough now that I don’t think he needs to do it anymore...but he loves the chance to have my cell phoneJ.)  Well, he called when he got to Sobeys & I got an idea.  I answered, “Sundre Sobeys, how can I help you?”  (dead silence)  “Hello?”  (nothing)  “Hello?”  (click)  He hung up on meJJ...and apparently I haven’t taught him what to do if he calls a wrong number.  Thanks for the laugh Benj...I love youJ.  (In case you wondered, he called back...and I answered the same way...but he knew that timeJ.)

A good book...and lots to think about...

Today was supposed to be a day to tackle at least one thing on my seemingly never ending list of things to catch up.  The kids slept in this morning so I decided to use my quiet moments to read for a bit before I tackled a project (I knew the kids needed the sleep & didn’t want to wake them up by making noise).  Instead of reading a couple of chapters, I sat & read the book cover to cover...and now I’m sitting here writing!  I guess this will be another unproductive dayJ.

The book?  One that I ordered from Focus on the Family probably 3 years ago...maybe more.  When I saw it, I knew right away that I wanted to read it because I LOVE biographies.  When the book came in the mail though, I had a sense (thanks Lord!) that I shouldn’t read it yet.  One of my greatest fears (I have a feeling I’m not the only one) is of something happening to my family.  I just can’t imagine losing one of them...let alone all of them...and that’s what this book is about.  I knew that if I read it, it would only bring that fear to the forefront & make me worry about my own family.  I put it on the bookshelf....and it sat there till this last weekend.  We were getting ready to go camping & I was looking for a book to bring along.  I thought I might be ready to read it now, so I brought it along.  We stayed so busy camping & fishing that I didn’t have time to even open a I decided to start it this morning.  But now I’m getting ahead of myself!  Let me backtrack for a minute.

This summer started out really crazy for me....REALLY crazy.  I was heading up the VBS at our church & it took a lot out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it...but it’s a LOT of work!  Shortly before VBS started a good friend of mine wrote this blog post & it really hit home.  I too was exhausted & overwhelmed.  I was running in every direction trying to spread myself as thin as I could to make all the different “ends” meet....hubby, kids, housework (necessities ONLY), VBS...but I wasn't thin enough to cover everything!  I knew it shouldn’t (& I didn’t want it to) be that way.  My family needs to be my priority...not the ones getting the leftovers!  

Jodi’s post really challenged & encouraged me to make not only my family a priority, but to make sure I look after myself too.  Reading a book.  Going for a bike ride.  Locking myself in my room so I can have devotions.  Putting my feet up.  Enjoying the sunshine.  Laughing with my kids.  Going on a date with my hubby.  I want to pay attention to the warning signs & refocus instead of waiting till I’m hanging on by a thread!  At the end of her post Jodi asked what we wanted to be able to “say we did” this summer.  This is the list I came up with at the time:
v Taking kids to the river.
v Reading a book to challenge me (Fearless).
v Tea with friends.
v Read aloud books to my kids.
v Family camping trips.
v Time spent getting to know the Lord better.
v Spending quality time with each of the kids, encouraging & challenging them.

At the end of August if someone asks me what I did this summer, I don't want to say, "Well, I caught up the housework, did bookwork, prepared for Kid's Rock, got ready to start school in the fall & finished wrapping up my VBS stuff."  Yes, all those things need to be done...but if they are so much at the forefront that I can't think of what else we did then I have a problem! 

I read Jodi’s post only 9 days before VBS started.  I knew I needed to just get through VBS...but at that point I committed to taking a week after VBS to do very, very little.  Hang out at home with my a book...just be.  By the time VBS was done...I was DONE...and I was sooo thankful for that weekJ.  It was a WONDERFUL week.  At the end of it, I realized a week wasn’t enoughJ...we did nearly the same thing the next week!  This week I was supposed to try & get back into the swing of things, but I’m having a really hard time doing it...and that book didn’t help me any!

No, I didn’t tell you all about the book for nothingJ.  You see I’ve had all this on my mind for a month as I read this morning it just brought it all back.  The book is called “Into the Deep” by Robert Rogers.  It’s the story of how he lost his family & how he dealt with it.  Like I said, you need a box of kleenex!  On the front cover it says, “One man’s story of how tragedy took his family but could not take his faith.”  It’s phenomenally sad, yet at the same time sooo inspiring.  I don’t want to go into detail because I think you should read the bookJ...but the back cover of the book sums it up well, “Robert’s moving story will challenge you to live a life of ‘no regrets,’ to cherish your loved ones, & to live life to the fullest.”  The thing that he now stresses to people through his ministry is just live life to the fullest with no regrets & to cherish your family. 

This was confirmation in my mind of what I’ve been processing since I read Jodi’s post.  I NEED to make my family a priority.  I don’t know yet what that will look like...maybe there’s something I need to give up, maybe part of it will just be a change in mindset, or maybe I just need to rearrange things & have a plan in my mind...but somehow it HAS to happen!  Lord please give me wisdom.  Make it very clear to me, where YOU want me to spend my time & energy.  You have given me such amazing kids to look after here on earth & I want to be the mom for them that you want me to be!  I want to be a supportive wife for Ben.  Jesus guide me!

I have no idea how long I’ll be on this earth...or how long my kids or hubby (or extended family or friends for that matter) will be’s not my job to know that or worry about it...but I do need to use the time that I do have with them wisely.  I want to make memories with my kids.  I want to get to know my hubby better (no, I still don’t know everything about him after 11 yearsJ).  I want to grow closer to my Lord Jesus!  I want to be a blessing to people around me.  I want to make a difference in people’s lives!

So has today been an unproductive day?  Nope.  I read a book, cuddled with my kids, spent time with the Lord & have loved listening to my kids play together...I think it’s a very productive day!  If only every day could be this simpleJ

Here’s my struggle.  Now that I’m in relaxing mode...I don’t really want to come out of it!  Yet like I said, I have an endless list of things to catch up.  So where is the balance?  How do I try & catch up on things this the same time as doing family the same time as taking care of the same time as trying to get ready for the fall?!?!  I know this is probably something that many, many moms (& dads) struggle’s just become very real for me today.