Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time to do and sit...

Hi My name is DaNae and I am a doer. 
I have a need in me to be doing something all the time.  This drives my husband crazy as he is a sitter.  He enjoys relaxing reading a book, playing a video game, or just fellowships with people.
  For example when we lived in Laramie we would be at Wendy's with our circle of friends.  After eating and talking, I would ask what the plan for the afternoon was.  Nobody really knew.  Ideas would be discussed of how we could spend the day but then would slowly  digress into side topics.  So I would pose the question again...because I need a plan to wrap my mind around.   One time one of our friends timed me with how long it took me to ask for the 2nd and 3rd time....15 minutes. 
Or when we had Charleigh's 1/2 year birthday party.  While Bill sat talking to all the gentlemen I fluttered around the house making sure needs were met, kids had things to do and brownies were served.  Do I have a problem?

Why do I include the confession of a doer?  The bible story of Mary and Martha and the contrast of Martha's busy life to Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus has been following me around since I started  thinking about doing the 31 Days to Clean Book.   I am inching along in the book because life has been full of activity as well as the fridge being full of food so task one of cleaning it out has seemed daunting.  I thought maybe if I postponed reading more of the book the "theme"  would go away.  No such luck.  Instead it has taken a twist that has made another more pressing issue clear to me. 

I think I have allowed my doer personality creep into my spiritual walk.  So now devotion to Jesus looks more like Martha scurrying around the house than Mary sitting with Jesus to know Him and fall in love with Him more.  I am  trying to put out "fires" in my own power instead of  relying on Him.

So my prayer for me right now is that he would change the desires of my heart to first falling in love with Jesus again.  I am thanking Him for his grace to start a new day fresh with Him.
My final prayer is that he would transform me from the inside out.  Hopefully as this metamorphosis takes place I will in turn become a better wife mother and friend in the process...someone who can enjoy the present moment and not always working for and wondering about the next. 

P.S.  I finally cleaned out the fridgerator.  I had not done it since we moved in almost a year ago.  It was gross!!!  Now that it is clean the goal is to maintain it to a certain degree.  Next project is the kitchen cabinets and drawers.  Now that I do not have children and we are not traveling for awhile I will be focusing on tasks around the house.  Cleaning first, weeding, and finally painting the deck and the downstairs bathroom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chalking it up as a drill

Dorthy you know you are in Kansas when you react the way I did today.

In Wyoming I can remember having a tornado 5 times. 3 of those were when I was a child. I don't remember much except my 6th grade teacher saying that if you come across someone who is getting hysterical you were suppose to hit them and the destruction in Cheyenne after one in 1979.  The last 2 happened when I was a teacher.  To keep the kids calm we read and sang songs as we waited for someone to tell us we were safe. I don't remember doing very many tornado drills as a child Since we live in tornado "alley" State Regulations for a In Home Day Care you have to practice doing a fire drill and a tornado drill every month. I have only done the drill once.

Today's forecast:  Rainy with thunderstorms through out the day high 65.

Put girls down for nap around 10 AM.
 Girls slept really well, thank you Jesus.
 I had started making lunch when it happened.

 The disaster sirens went off.  I am not sure what freaked me out more the fact that there have been  category 5 tornadoes rip through towns  in the region we live in, or it was the talk that K-Love had that stated  they had realized that material things that seem like our safe place can get ripped out of your hands in just a moment.  No matter what the reason I sprang into action.

I ran down the hall into the sleeping room.  I scooped the little girl I watch up in  a football hold and ran to Charleigh's  room and scooped her up. I ran downstairs and plopped them down in the bathroom.  I got them toys so they would have something to keep them occupied while I checked the to see if there was any updates letting me know where the storm was.  Nothing came  up
( Had to check it  because my zune battery needed charging and I hadn't been listening to the radio previously.)

I called Bill who did not answer and text  the little girls mom to see if they knew anything. After leaving messages I realized today is Wednesday.  At noon on  specific Wednesday's is when the siren is tested.  But it wasn't then my doubt returned and the siren went off agian so we stayed downstairs a little bit longer.

The little girls mother text back saying they had not even heard the sirens.  That seems crazy in such a small  town.  As a child we lived 1/2 a block from the school and the siren was so loud you could not hold a conversation. At least I am near a school  and can hear it very well.

I was so proud of the girls.  They didn't cry even when they were swept up at the very end of nap time when they were still asleep. I am pretty sure it was only me feeling the adrenaline pumping through my body.  Either way I think we are ready if a real tornado were to come.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Babies amazing development Part 1

Can't believe it Charleigh is 6 months old on Friday!!!   it is crazy how time flies when you are responding to cries, feeding, changing diapers and doing crazy things to make these precious babies smile. 

For  the last 5 years I worked at an Early Learning child care center.  The director there pushed us to get more education.  I  went to a couple seminars on infants and toddler development.  At one of  them, the instructor got out a ball of yarn and had us throw it at another person in the circle as she told us a scenario the infant might face.  If it was a stressful  situation a person would drop their side of the string  section.  The lesson behind this activity was to show how the synapses in the brain connect and reinforced or how they can be interrupted during this crucial time of development..  It's one thing to actually hear  the material and see an object lesson.  It is another to experience it first hand.

never worked in an infant room so I was not sure what to expect when Charleigh was born. Would I really know what to do or enhance the enviroment so that all the synapses would make a web of smooth flowing information, which would benefit her development in four areas,learning language, motor skills, cognitive (thinking) , social (interacting with others). It is my opinion (which is based on the experiences with my daughter), the nature vs nurture argument is about balance. Both have to be present. Charleigh has many of her mom and dad's personality traits. She is determined like her mom yet very laid back like her dad until something goes wrong like not getting fed soon enough. But I can meet her needs and play with her and those qualities mature and change for the better or worse depending on how I deal with the situation.

Let's go back to the beginning, Charleigh was good sized when she was born weighing 8lb 9 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. She weighed in last week at 16 lb 2 oz.  She is growing like a little weed. Other physical changes has seen is her hair. She came out with just a little bit.  It did not grow until we started feeding her cereal.  Then overnight, you could see a difference. 
Regular food has been fascinating to her since about the 3rd month.  She would watch us intently every time we ate.  If we were eating something while holding her on our lap she would mimic us by opening her mouth and leaning forward.  So we start cereal at the middle of 4 months.  She is a natural eater.  We have not found a food she doesn't like yet.  So far her diet consists of  oatmeal, rice, or barley cereal and  peas, carrots, green beans, squash, avocados and prunes.  I am making my own baby food, that has been a fun challenge for me. 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Mother's Day

I figured that since the whole topic of this blog is to share my first Mother's Day.
It became a weekend event.  My parents came on Friday.  Their visit was three fold to celebrate my birthday, mother's day, and Charleigh's dedication.

Saturday, we decided to go to breakfast to celebrate.  We all over ate because the food was so good.  Charleigh put on a show for all as she sat in the high chair eating her avacadoes and oatmeal and drank from her sippy cup.  I am sure her adorable personality and antics didn't add to people's interest.
Then we went to the farmer's market.  It  wasn't as exciting as I thought it was gonna be.  Charleigh slept through the whole thing.  Then it was back home to allegidadly relax.  Instead we  headed to the backyard to look at the  landscaping  project we started  back in October.  The weather was beautiful so we spent the rest of the day working on cleaning up the back yard and prepping the land for grass seed to be planted. The guys finished  planting the seed around 9:00 PM.
 In the middle of all that I found time to make Mother's Day dinner consisting of glazed apricot chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes corn on the cob, with pineapple bliss cake for dessert.
We all slept in on Sunday since we have church in the evening.  I walked in and greeted the pastor's wife.  She has been a great support since we moved here.  She and her husband have accepted Bill and I from day one.  They prayed for Charleigh even while she was in the womb. So I was listening intently to what she said as she approached me, " Happy Mother's Day!  Does that seem wierd to hear since you have waited so long?"  I always wanted to be a mom.  It took 39 years for me to be ready and for God's perfect timing.  Then she continued, "Now you are in it for the long haul."  That struck me.  Sometimes I look at Charleigh and am amazed that she is my daughter.  Then other times fear comes over me and I wonder what  in the world I would do without her. 

The enormity of being a parent  continued to build as we were called up for  Charleigh's dedication.  Proverbs 22:6  was the key thought.  "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  The pastor's thought was that we need to train Charleigh in the way that God would have for her not what we would plan for her.  I think at times that might be harder than I think.

Since then that small nugget has grown larger.  The moms club Bible Study Group is centered around the same topic.  One of the thoughts is knowing your child so you can tap into those passions instead of trying to live out  your life through theirs.  I have seen parents do this on several occasions.  Where does it get them?  It stresses everyone involved stressed out. I am not sure how it will play out with Charleigh she is so determined.  Her independent spirit is becoming more apparent as she has learned to sit and do her version of crawling that looks a little bit like a frog hop.  She is able to explore and get  what she wants even when it is not such a great idea.  It will be tricky to allow her freedom when appropriate but yet apply boundaries when needed.   The tight rope of balance will be a constant place of learning for the rest our lives.  It is a huge responsibility and a great priviledge to be the steward of this little life.

This new season  is bringing on some times of challenge and growth for all.  In the end it is one that has already given us great benefits which have included a great deal of Joy and increased faith.  So hearing Happy Mother's Day your in it for the long haul right now is bringing a huge smile to my face.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

31 Days to Clean …Day 1
Today's reading assignment was short and sweet.  There was no cleaning assignment just lots of thinking.

Before we get into all the thought provoking material, I would like to draw a backdrop to the story that inspires this book.  It comes from the Bible, Luke 10:38-42
Jesus came to visit Martha’s house.  Martha was running around trying to get everything ready for their special guest.    She must have been anxious because she demands Jesus to tell her sister to help her prepare.  I can just see Jesus saying chill out Martha you are worried about all the wrong things.  Mary has the right idea. Where is Mary?  Listening to Jesus while sitting at His feet.

I think most woman can draw a parallel between themselves and one of these women.  I am like Martha.  I am a planner and I want to know that I have everything right so that everyone is happy, so often times I over do.  I run around trying to get everything done and often the stress seeps out and begins to affect the rest of my family.  It is hard for me to just sit still and do nothing.  My husband on the other hand is the total opposite.  I think that is why God put us together.  He tries so hard to "tame" me but it is a hard task. Mary on the other hand isn't just relaxing and lazy she is sitting t Jesus feet listening to His words and teachings.  I do this but not nearly as often as I should. I do think that the ideal is a balance of Martha and Mary is ideal.

So then my  own question as I start this journey is: What  does it be clean?
Definition of Clean –

·         free from dirt or impurities

·         containing no foreign matter or pollutants

·         freshly laundered or washed after use

Question for day 1 from the book:

What motivates you to have a clean house?  List all the reasons why you want this. These are in no partucular order.

1. People like to come to a place that is clean.
2. Bill likes the house to be uncluttered and I like to please Him.
3. It gives Charleigh a safe place to play and crawl.
4. It will prove to be a good example to Charleigh as she gets older.
5. If everything has a place it is easy to pick up. That way you don't have to spend as much time
     maintaining it.
6. It makes me feel good.
7. You don't have to panic when the unexpected guest come over.
8. Doing daycare it is a state regulation that your house is clean and reasonable uncluttered.
9. Hopefully germs are not spread easily.
10. I won't have to search for things and feel so scatter brained as I walk out the door.
11. I don't want to ever appear on the show Hoarders!!!
12. My grandparents and parents were good examples to me...They had a clean house and an open   door policy so that all were welcome at any time.
13. To some degree the issues you struggle with on the inside you see on the outside environment.
14. You build a house in vain if it is not built on a firm foundation…first Jesus then doing what we feel called to do…wife and mom calling:  Be a help-meet that works to create a wonderful atmosphere in our home.

 Mission Statement:
As the wife and mother it is my job to nurture and care for my family.
One of the most fundamental ways is to have a
clean, safe, welcoming environment
that allows us all to live with freedom and peace.
 It also allows us to have an open door
 to those that need a peaceful place to come and enjoy.

My mission is two fold
1. To stay dedicated to building my relationship with Jesus
through prayer and reading my Bible.
This keeps keep my heart clean soft and plyable so that ...
2.  I can follow in the footsteps of the woman before me in the ability to
Creating a home enviroment that is clean where joy, peace and love flow.

The foundation is now laid so now I am ready to get serious. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Goal on my journey

I had a thought  about the devotional 31 Days to Clean..A Martha House the Mary Way..

The cool thing about this book is it is for the Kindle reader. Never used the technology before. You can download it on your computer if you don't have the device. After exploring how to use it I think I might be hooked. Can take notes highlight passages, adjust light and darknesses of background as well as size of font so it is easier for your eyes.  Technology is making our lives so much least that is my perspective right now...

On to the main thought....

How many of you have seen the movie Julia and Julia?  Great movie about a young womans journey of working through another older and experienced  woman's cookbook.  So here is my crazy thought...

My whole goal for this blog was to capture my first year of motherhood...not sure that is being accomplished so I am going to try to use the devotional to help me focus on one of the hard aspects of being a mom...keeping your house clean and focusing on Jesus.

As I work through each "day"  I will post my thoughts, struggles, acheivements and maybe even some pictures. Realistically, I know some of these Martha  tasks are going to take more than one day to accomplish.  The book does not focus on multiple bedrooms and closets, or family rooms so this journey will not be done at the beginning of June.   Since the Martha aspects will take a little longer I will fill in the Mary aspects with other devotionals and Bible reading or maybe extra contiplation on the thoughts and scriptures Sarah Mae includes. 

If  you are tracking this and you have any tips thoughts or insights on either cleaning or spirtual contemplation addressed at the time I would love to hear your comments. 

Well here's to another set of lofty goals as a mom...Clean houses and Clean hearts..

update while girls are asleep

Both girls are asleep.  Lunch is started so I have a second to give you a update on goals old and new.

As of today I have lost 11 pounds from the time that Charleigh was born.  I just got into a new decade so that make me excited. Weight Watchers Points Plus has helped me.  This last week I have had a hard time with tracking what I am eating.  I am trying to get back in the swing of things because writing it down and doing calculations makes a big difference in how I eat.  Actually that is a huge revelations for me.  Weight Watchers also tells you to celebrate other victories too.  I tried on a pair of jeans this morning that I have not been able to even get zipped.  I put them on and zipped them.  They are still alittle tight but  it shows I am making progress.

A couple weeks ago the little girl I take care of shared her cold and cough with all of us.   I have not felt totally up to par during this time so I have put off running.  Hopefully, Monday I will start the workout routine again. Things I have been able to do is gardening/yard work.  I also got a double stroller at a garage sale this last weekend.  The girls and I are now able to take walks through the neighborhood which will help my activity level.

Spirtually,  I am holding my own.  I am going to start a new  Bible Study 31 days to Clean:  A Martha House in a Mary Way.   I am hoping that this will help me get focused and learn a new systematic way to clean the house and learn something new about God at the same time.  Bill and I have been talking about what God has been teaching us.  One theme is embracing the dessert while you are in it because it is time to prepare you for the next thing he wants you to do.  I am still in the season where God wants me to focus on Jesus not just  the words in the Bible. The Spirit has to be there making the words alive and active.  Then I need to take the principles and the example I see in Jesus and make the "wheels" of scripture meet the "road" of life.  We would like to find a way to plug into people outsie of the four walls of the church.  I want to do things because God wants me to not because it is something someone else is telling me to do. I will let you know how it is going.

Motherhood is wonderful.  Charleigh is growing so fast.  She is sitting up and starting to figuring how to crawl. It won't be long before she is fully mobile.  I am not sure I am ready.  Ready or not here it comes. We are having her dedicated in church on Sunday.  We have been praying since before she was born that she would experience saving faith at a young age.  Dedication  is just the start of  publicly asking God for that  and setting  ourselves apart  to be examples of faith to our little girl and ask the congragation to be the "village" that surrounds us helping us in this task.

I hear little voice so someone is up.  Hope you have a great day.