Monday, January 27, 2020

complaints and obedience

I spent the first few years of motherhood complaining. It's true, just read my blog posts. While it was hard, and life is still hard in many ways, I am coming to learn that trials of all kinds are the way God refines me by fire.

Today I read this during my devotion time:

"In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered."  Hebrews 4:7-8

I was struck by that. Jesus learned obedience by what he suffered. He didn't complain, moan, or whine. He offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to God--he didn't rag to his disciples about what trials his father was putting him through, unjustly. And of all the people he is the only one who could have claimed that it was unjust--because it was. He died for our sins.

Suddenly I viewed my complaint filled Facebook post on my moms group about how late my husband works, how my toddler doesn't sleep and the whines I deal with in my son (he's four) in a whole other light. A cheap and sinful light. The text I sent my friend about how "awful my day was" and how "tired I am". All my whines and mom-angst, all piled up before my eyes.

And there is a lot of it. I am...good at complaining and feeling sorry for myself. 

Life is hard. But instead of running to Jesus and offering up my prayers, I have consistently complained, whined, and thrown God's blessings into the mud. Life as a mom of two isn't a cakewalk--but Jesus was called to die on a cross after being beat to death, and he didn't treat his calling the way I treat mine, which right now just involves child-rearing, husband-serving, and cloth diapering.

I mean, I don't know what the future holds for me. Will I be called upon to die of cancer? Taken in a car wreck? Heart attack? I would aim for peacefully in my sleep, but I don't get to choose how I meet my savior. But now I know I want to follow whatever God has in store for me with obedience, the obedience he shows to his own heavenly father.

And, In comparison to "murderous death on a cross," motherhood doesn't sound so rough. I mean, in today's day and age I don't even have to fish for my dinner and cook it over a fire pit like the disciples would have. I have hot water that comes out of a tap, and I don't have to weave my husband a garment or sew him underwear. I get to buy that stuff at a store.

What I am trying to say is I have been convicted. I want to stop complaining. I want to learn a biblical way to deal with trials. Even when Job complained to God, God told him he had no right--and Job ended up apologizing.

We are his vessels to shape, his creations. I can rise above my circumstances and see the Joy God has for me. I can learn obedience through my trials, too.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Becky is Two

It seems like just yesterday I was birthing my Becky, but now she is two. Two and sleeping through the night for the first time, two and waddling around doing everything big brother does, two and giving me hugs with her little arms and wet kisses. I love two and I love my Becky. Happy Birthday sweet wonderful girl! You are amazing and I cherish every day with you.

You can see Becky's birthday vlog here!

The Fires of Heaven

(Spoilers for the first 5 Wheel of time books below)

Mat and Rand face their first battle in this book, just like Perrin did in the Two Rivers in The Shadow Rising. I know they have been in battles before, but this is the first one where they are not doing others biddings but instead giving orders and carrying a lot of the weight. 

This is also the first book that has a sex scene in it, between Rand and Aviendha. I didn't see that one coming at the beginning of the book but now I see the attraction. Why Rand gets three women all tangled up in a love triangle is beyond me. He is denser then a stone when it comes to romance and it must be the pull of Ta'veren that ensnares them, because Aviendha seems to resent Rand most of the time and Elayne is a princess, not some peasant to be attracted to Rand's shy farmer's persona. She would have been raised to appreciate a refined man, I think. 

It baffles me. 

The only one that really makes sense is Min. She's perfect for him, gentle, and not pushy. I think of all three she alone really understands him. At least that is the way I see it-- Rand is a clueless idiot for most of the first four books and each woman (well, except Min) has pursued him, not the other way around. I can't see how this is going to turn out, but I bet Elayne is not going to be happy if Aviendha makes Rand her warder, not to mention that she slept with him. I laugh every time she tells Nynaeve that she isn't worried because Aviendha is watching Rand. Hah, hah.

Mat also has some lady troubles. Mat is peculiar to me, mostly because I have never met a man like him-- a man who does what is right but complains so much. He's like a whiny baby the way he moans about duty and dice and woman yet he gets what he wants most of the time.  

Nynaeve being broken by the Forsaken was also very interesting. I didn't think she could be broken, but I know she will heal. She is strong, and she will beat Moghedien. Birgittte reminds me of Min, but like...if Min hung out in taverns and liked to fight, instead of just a tomboy. I hope she finds her other half.

Who killed Asmodean at the end?? I really liked him. I liked seeing more men that could channel, as all you really see are women, and not much is known about the men. 

Moiraine will turn up again, I think. We didn't see her killed and I feel her story isn't over. Poor Lan, he will blame himself.

The biggest thing I took away from the book was Rand's change. He is really growing up and becoming jaded.... I feel for him. He is in pain and he needs help. He is shouldering the burden of saving the world and ready to lay down his life all by himself. I can feel his loneliness. He is isolated from friends and family because he is the dragon reborn. People want to control him and manipulate him. He has to look out everywhere for danger and worries about the people he loves. He also is undrer attack mentally due to the taint and Lewis Therin. Poor Rand!

Well, on to the next book. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

flying kites and changes

Today, the kids and I flew a kite outside in our side yard. I was a mix of emotions.

One, I am getting over our miscarriage we had in January. Mourning that little life. Closing a chapter on newborn dreams and tiny clothes. I'm in a good place now, but still get depressed occasionally. I thought this one would stay. I had morning sickness--I never had that with any of my other miscarriages. Today, I am sad that Becky won't get to meet her baby brother; she won't get to be a big sister. Reuben won't get the little brother he always wanted. Next time, if there is a next time, will be a different baby.

My emotions were swirling for a different reason, as well. I was thinking of my father. My biological father. I have only a handful of memories of him---phone conversations where he would just try to undermine my mother's authority, a few cards and letters, all written by his new wife who I guess was trying to send me things "from him" because either he asked or she knew he should be doing it. Everything in her handwriting, never his. I have memories of him as an adult, when he started acting weird because he chose drugs and...that is it. Nothing after my wedding. We don't talk.

But there was that one time---the one time we flew kites together. One day at a park that still exists next to the apartments we used to live in. I was around 5 or 6, I guess. And as I flew kites with Reuben, I wondered--is it a painful memory because I don't know how to feel about it, or because of the lack of other happy memories with him? That day, I was happy, there with the wind and the kites and the sky. It was fun. I remember my dad laughing and playing with me, I remember feeling loved and accepted and alive.

Now I was flying a kite with my own children. I hope they have more than just one or two happy memories with me.

A lot has been changing lately. In good, and hard ways. The loss of our baby. The milestone of two that Becky reaches soon. Things at home are becoming easier and I am enjoying being a mother again. Kids play together, they demand less of me and are stretching their wings. I am loving, loving homeschooling preschool, and we start our kindergarten program this April! I am growing as a person. I feel like as a mother I am an ever constant butterfly, always undergoing some type of transformational birth and death, sometimes simultaneously.

This is the season of birth in creative endeavors, a birth of new books to read and fun patterns to design and knit when I have time. The death of pushing myself to go to hot yoga, because I just can't anymore and it got to be too expensive. The birth of having more independent kids, of homeschooling and habit instruction. Of becoming my children's teacher as well as mother and friend. But the death of having my own close friends, because of the looming task that awaits me of raising R&R. It crowds out the space I used to have for mommy dates and coffee meet-ups and bible studies. I can still do a few of those things, but not in the same capacity this extrovert would like.

By the way, I think it is utter bull that you can't be your kid's friend. Friends know when to tell you when you err and how to lift you up when you are down. It's a friends job to point you to Christ. Thus I endeavor to be a good friend to my brood of snapdragons, my hatchlings, my Reuben and my Rebekah. I won't hold myself above them, but rather work with them to teach them and be taught by them.

Life is good.

Life is good.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

sea turtle

I made Becky a Unicorn, and Reuben a turtle. A very fun crochet project, and he loves it. The turtle was made out of 100% wool and stuffed with wool left over from my wool pillow.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Shadow Rising

I finished book four. I am now listening to the audio books--reading the tiny print from my thrifted finds was hurting my eyes, mostly because I have time to read at night. (Spoilers from first four books below)

I read this about three months ago and never wrote the post, so I can't remember much about my dislikes. I really enjoyed getting to know Perrin. Faille is perfect for him. I cried when he found out his family was dead. Poor Perrin. Having chapters with Elmindreda was thoroughly entertaining!  Nynaeve is becoming one of my favorite characters. I love her! She is strong, and a spitfire. If I had to pick a character to be, I would pick her, although I am probably most "like" Egwene.

The white-cloaks are insufferable. I will never forgive them for watching and Emonds Field was attacked.

I hope Perrin and Faille have lots of babies. I hope Elaida curses the day she overthrew the white tower. I have a suspicion that Siuane and Leane will regain their powers somehow.

On to book five. Perrin is the first one to face an army all on his own here, the first time he "leads" instead of just following others. I feel like the three men (Perrin, Mat, Rand) are gaining more control of their futures instead of being dragged along by Moiraine.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A Charlotte Mason Kindergarden Curriculum

Reuben (my eldest) starts homeschooling this year! I am so excited. I am creating a curriculum for him based on Charlotte Mason's teachings. I decided to make it available for free to you guys, if you are interested in seeing what we are doing. My curriculum includes teaching Reuben to read (our goal for the year), instruction in math and handwriting, as well as handicrafts, puzzles, nature identification and bible/scripture memorization. We will also be incorporating basic flute lessons and habit training. Structured outside play will surmise the foundation of our school experience.

This is where I will be posting all of our lessons as PDF downloads for your convenience. Each PDF will include a week of lessons and my notes, and any printables I have designed and used. The lessons build on each other as you can imagine, so if you download number six it assumes you have read 1-5.You are welcome to download these and use them yourself for your own kindergarten as-is, or adjust as needed for your child. Enjoy and may your homeschool be a happy one.

Term 1 

Week One - Dandelion
Week Two - Red Clover
Week Three - Musk Mallow
Week Four - Poppy
Week Five - Thistle
Week Six - Fox and Cubs
Week Seven - Lady Orchid
Week Eight - Cornflower
Week Nine - Forget Me Nots
Week Ten - Red Campion
Week Eleven - Ox Eye Daisy
Week Twelve - Buttercup

Term 2

For term two, I got tired of making weekly printouts. I decided to go the book route.
We did 12 weeks for term two, and I used the following books:

Nature Crafts for Kids
The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children 
TinkerActive Math Kindergarten Workbook
Seabird (first half)
Paddle-to-the-Sea (second half)
Looking at Paintings Dancers
Looking at Paintings Self-Portraits
Classical Music Cds (from Goodwill)
Learn to Letter Primary Writing Tablet (from Walmart near the crayons)
The Usborne Big Book of Spanish Words
Ambleside online year 0 booklist
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
North American Wildlife
Nature Anatomy
The Christian's Treasury of Stories and Songs
My first book of Cutting

I took each book and divided it up so we finished most by 12 weeks.
Here is how I portioned it out.

Term 3

*have not planned yet*

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. I welcome suggestions too! Next year, we will be doing full Ambleside Online!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Becky's Unicorn

This was Becky's Christmas present! I made her a unicorn. She loves this plush and carries it around for hours. This is the first plush I've ever knit and I felt like a novice during many parts of the process, especially the sewing-limbs-on part. I am pleased that she loves it, and I hope she will cherish it for many years to come.