Sunday, August 02, 2015

Sunday Night Summary

It occurred to me recently as I spoke with a friend that I often need to "mind dump" in order to feel situated mentally. Same holds true of my emotions. I just need to get it out.
I journal quite a bit, but not as much as I like. 
I think about my family all the time but don't communicate with any of them consistently, even my mom. Sorry, mom.
I also have  not been writing consistently in this space, and I think it is partly due to me over thinking it. Listening to a podcast today with Maria Popova, author of famed blog, "Brain Pickings," which I admit I have never read, something she said struck a cord with me. She said that in order for a person's writing to be sustainable over the long haul, one should always write, in whatever medium, for one's self.

For these reasons and more, I thought I would start and hopefully, sustain, a "Sunday Night Summary" series here on my blog. I know myself well enough to know I will not write every Sunday night. I just won't. The only thing I am consistent with is inconsistency. I lie. I brush my teeth every day. Without fail. A part from that, there is just little else I do consistently that isn't necessary for my survival of course.  

But, I am hoping to tap out a *brief* (if this is possible for me) summary of my week

  • to serve as a mind dump, a type of mental closure on my week. This is for me more than anyone who might read my blog. 
  • to send to my family so they can at least have heard something from me on what's going on in my world.
  • to write something here on the blog consistently.
Onto the inaugural Sunday Night Summary!

We'll go with categories for brevity's sake. 

Reading: "Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe" by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. In the chapter entitled, "Taming the Beast of Housework," Sally points out that, " a happy mom is a real gift for her children."  I am not the picture of a happy mom. I am grumpy a lot as I carry out my duties as a wife, mom and home maker. I become particularly grumpy about messes.

I know I am not alone in this struggle. But just because it is a common temptation for many a momma does not mean that I want to remain in this place. I want to find that gentle balance of having an orderly home environment while maintaining joy and peace in our hearts and relationships with one another. What good is an outwardly, orderly home when inwardly, we are all striving and embittered toward one another?

I appreciated her last thoughts of the chapter on creating a haven. No need to ditch my desire for order and cleanliness. I just have to learn how to motivate myself and my children in life giving ways. She suggests listening to an audio book , playing loud music, or setting timers with a promised reward at the conclusion of that time. I often do this for myself, but it has not often occurred to me to do this for my children.

I love how Sally motivates her reader to try a mentality and approach toward housework that will lighten everyone's mood by saying, "Adding color and interest into the tasks of life significantly diminishes that weight of stress and refills my soul to keep going."

Eating: For this category, I'll say that I was able to make my monthly trip to BB's on Saturday with a friend this time. This is an activity I look forward to each month. I love the thrill of finding great food at amazing prices and walking out with the immense satisfaction that I am saving my family a lot of money. This is good because I cost my family a lot of money in other areas of life, like car repairs....and oh boy, have we had a lot going on in that department lately. 
The deal I was most excited about this month? Organic Almond Butter for $2.00 and Neumann-O's (like Oreos but organic) for $1.49. Woo Hoo!!

We had a very full week, having opportunities to hang out with many friends.
The kids had musical practice on Monday afternoon. I love when they sing the songs from the musical in the car and practice them at home. I love that my boys still have young boy voices. They are still "my babies" for a little while longer. 

Tuesday, we headed down to the Annapolis area to hang with some buds from Speech Club, the Logan's. We met another family there who is thinking about joining speech, the husband of which is a race horse trainer. That was quite fascinating to hear about his work. 

The kids swam all afternoon while I had the opportunity to hear more about Rachael's life in South Africa (this is where she grew up and lived until just several years ago). She told me about foods and other parts of her culture she misses along with the story of how God revealed Himself and the truth about Jesus to her when she was a college student. She actually came to know Christ through an event that Campus Crusade held on her campus. Oh, it made me miss my days on staff with Cru and long for another season of ministry like that. Maybe one day again. Maybe. 

That evening, our family joined a few other families to begin a four week course on "Trust Based Parenting."  We are seeking to support friends of ours who are preparing to become foster parents, and we are also looking for some parenting help for ourselves with some of the issues we face here with our own three who qualify as "kids from hard places" given the way they all experienced "trauma" at birth in their own individual ways. 

Wednesday, our Pilot was taken to the mechanic for some maintenance and to look at a tire and steering, both of which we have noticed some problems.  I thought I was going to be getting the Pilot back at the end of the day, but lo and behold our mechanic didn't even look at it that day. Ugh!

That evening, I hosted "Gather" for the 2nd month. I have invited a few of my neighbors who I have come to know over the last year or two to join me in my home once a month for a few bites to eat, sips to drink and thoughtful conversation about family and faith.  This month, two friends were able to come, and we had a great time chatting it up.  

Thursday, my plans were totally rearranged for the day given I had no car again. My friend, Meghan, kindly invited us to swim at her in-laws' pool and picked us up to boot.  The kids had a fantastic time swimming in what we counted was the 6th pool they have swam in this summer, until we heard thunder. Then it was a scramble to get out of the pool, dried off and into Meghan's car before it dumped on us. Dump it did. We pulled up to my house with the rain coming down hard. 

Because it was raining so hard, Meghan ended up hanging out at our house with her kids, and I had Judah call the library to let them know he wouldn't make it to "work" that afternoon. I love that he is volunteering at the library this summer. What a great life experience this has been for him, and I have loved catching a glimpse at the independence, responsibilities and growth that is coming down the road for my three.  

Friday, we were supposed to check out a local swimming hole with some friends, but because I still didn't have the Pilot back, those friends came to us, and we all swam at Mr. Harry's (my neighbor) pool. Mid afternoon, we all loaded up into Tiffany's van and headed to our local library for a program put on  by the Franklin Institute about space. It was so well done, and I even learned a few new things like how astronauts shower in space. Do you know?  

Friday night, after Lawrence retrieved our Pilot from the mechanic, we had our family pizza/movie night.  This week we watched "Star Wars."

Saturday, I went to BB's with a friend which took up a large chunk of my day. On my way home, 
the Pilot's steering went awry and dash lights came on. I pulled over, put my hazards on and called LA. Long story short, we are looking at another repair, and I am without my car for another four days. Grr..

With the unexpected curve ball of dealing w/ the car, we weren't sure if we were going to have time to pull off having three families to our home that evening for a fire/cookout we had planned.  But, our friends were gracious, helped us get things together and helped by bringing food and drinks. 

We had 14 kiddos, 8 adults and a lot of fun sitting around the fire, making smores, cracking jokes and talking about all things from the best Netflix murder mystery series to really weird church experiences to how in the world we are going to parent our children who are growing up too fast. 

I haven't enjoyed hosting this many people at one time this much in a long time, which was rather surprising given how busy my week had already been and all the craziness with our car. Maybe Lawrence and I  are finding a groove with hosting.  

One thing I am learning to do to make hosting large groups not only possible but also enjoyable for me is to ask for help both in bringing food/drink and getting it all ready and dispensed to everyone. I am also learning to Keep It Simple, Silly.  Hot dogs, salsa, chips, watermelon, and smores was all we needed. Easy Peezy. 

Today, I stayed home from church because LA only has the capacity for four people to ride in his car. I opted to stay home and rest. I decided with a quiet house for a few hours, I would finally start in on some of the painting projects I wanted to devote my summer to doing. 

I spray painted four chairs that will go around our dining table. They are four different colors, fall-ish colors that coordinate with the colors in our curtains for that room.  I also painted a trunk we have had for years and years. We bought it at a thrift store. It was hunter green with $19.99 written in sharpie on top of the lid. It is now orange and will sit in our school room at the foot of our leather chair in there to house the kids' games and allow for feet to be plopped on top.

We ended our week playing a card games with the kids, LA reading an article to the kids about redemption in suffering, and I read the next chapter from our current read aloud, "The Green Ember." 

And, now the house is entirely quiet except for the hum of fans and the sound machine and the clickety-clack of me typing. Ah, this is my favorite hour of all. And, it's not even midnight yet. Hoorah!!

Looking Ahead: It's WEEK OF BIRTHDAY here for the boys. They will wake up 11 year olds tomorrow!!
I am not the best at celebrating with pomp and circumstance, but I am praying that I will put the perpetually running, mental to-do list on "pause" and focus on really entering into the celebration of my boys' lives and the gift they are to me, our family and others. 

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I'm glad you're finding "Desperate" to be encouraging to you!