*** you hear cries from the kitchen at breakfast time, "Mom, the ceiling is leaking!!"
*** you open the pantry door (after placing a towel under the leaky spot) and immediately notice a very large puddle on the pantry floor, three shelves that no longer hold DRY cereal and cracker boxes but splattered and soaked ones instead, and a steady stream of water dripping from THAT ceiling... drip, drip, drip.
*** you assume a bathroom/pipe leak directly above and call the plumber, who in turn slices a hole in the kitchen ceiling to take a "peak." This, in turn, results in a gushing waterfall of sorts-- straight from kitchen ceiling to kitchen floor. Evidently = no minor leak. And this of course, inspires your favorite two-year old to happily proclaim, "Mommy, it's raining!" Yes... outside AND inside. What fun.
*** that same plumber climbs into the overhead storage space (in the adjoining hallway) and all you hear him mutter is, "Oh, wow."
*** you (along with the plumber) realize it's NOT a plumbing issue at all but a roofing one instead. So as a result, you call the roofer. Once he arrives, he carefully examines your situtaion (with a look of profound confusion on his face) and then slowly declares, "I don't know HOW that happened."
*** you then continue to hear words from the roofer (and his coworker-- the one he's since called to come join him in the search for the source of the leak) such as "puzzled," "I don't know," "I'm baffled," and "How on God's green earth did it GET there?"
Yep, that's when you know you've got a problem. A BIG problem.
During the month of August, Heart of the Matter has been hosting a Not Back to School blog hop, and boy oh boy, there's been lots of good stuff to read! Unfortunately, I came in a bit late on the whole thing and missed posting our curriculum plans for week 1, and then, since I don't have a designated school space in our home, I decided not to participate in the hop for week 2. Now, however, that it's the middle of the month, and now that week 3 is upon us, I get to finally chime in because I DO have students... and they're the best part of it all!
As I searched for a few recent pics of my crew to share in this post, I automatically looked for a few nice, traditional poses... but after pausing for a moment (and after uploading a few recent shots from the backyard), I opted for a few slightly less traditional ones. So with that in mind, here's my crew... my favorite little people in all the world... AND my curriculum plans for next year (I had to get them posted some way or other!)
Bub (11): my rising 6th grader
my swimmer extraordinaire... my compassionate & thoughtful, honest & loyal,
happy-go-lucky, always-loves-the-limelight boy
Math:: Singapore Primary & Intensive Practice 6 A & B; Challenging Word Problems 5
Life of Fred Decimals & Percents (my son BEGS to do more LoF~
Alrighty. Earlier this summer I made a confession:
I was stressed. I was overwhelmed. I was plumb tuckered out. BUT God, in His infinite grace-full-ness, spoke a word over me, infused me with His power, and set me on the straight and narrow... resting in Him, secure in His provision, quiet in heart... free!
Now, however, on this 6th day of August, it's time for another confession:
I've wandered from that lovely place... from that burden-less straight and narrow. And I've wandered far. Yes, that wonderful feeling of heaven-sent peace that washed over me those many weeks ago... it's gone. Of course, not because the Lord removed it from me, but because I chose to stray in my own weary fashion... and yes, my OWN weary fashion looks nothing like His perfect one.
And as a result, I've fallen prey to those same struggles yet AGAIN.
I've stressed AGAIN. I've grumbled AGAIN. And I've allowed myself to return to that oh-so-ugly place of panic one. more. time.
Because school is quickly approaching. Along with a course in 20th century history (a class I'll be co-teaching for junior high students). And of course-- the end of a lazy hazy summer that's been anything but.
And that... well... that makes for a rather frazzled and frizzled mama (instead of a loving and generous and patient and quiet and tender and full-of-grace mama), and as most of us know, when the gal in charge is in that sort of state, stand back.
Can I get an 'amen'??
Enter Tsh at Simple Mom this morning with this utterly profound, stopped-me-in-my-tracks declaration: Stress is a choice.Yep, that one got me.
"Stress is a choice. Do you buy that? Some people have a hard time with the idea. ...
Yes, bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don't follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail,
good people leave. Life is full of these. But still, stress is a choice
because whatever the 'trigger event,' we always choose our own response.
We choose to react angrily. We choose to stuff our emotions and keep quiet.
We choose to worry. ... Stress is a choice."
~John G. Miller, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question
AND THEN... just 30 minutes later, Kelly Minter (the author of my biblestudy) had to jump on the bandwagon as well.
With regards to Ruth and Boaz and the scene that unfolds in chapter 3, verses 14-18~
[Drawing from Christ so that we can generously pour love on others]
"can be hard to practice because receiving our supply from God isn't always as tangible
as a bag of grain, a fish, or a piece of bread [as seen in Matthew 15:29-37]
that we walk up and take from His hand. It may be something concrete,
but many times it's a supply of patience, forgiveness, love, wisdom, or comfort
that we desperately need from Him so we can pour it out on someone else--
just like Ruth did for Naomi with the grain.
This kind of spiritual supply comes from being in Jesus' presence.
Meditating on the pages of Scripture.
Committing to focused prayer.
Waiting quietly on Him so our spirits can learn his voice.
Ruth knew where Boaz was, she sought him out, and she lay at his feet.
It is not surprising she walked away with something to offer someone else" (page 111).
Nothing I haven't heard before.
But something I all too quickly forget.
Something I need to hear over and over and over again.
Something I need to LIVE by... every moment... every day... as I shower His Love on my little people... every chance I get... while He meets my every need and enables my stress-free living~
"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
So it's August now. I'm not real sure where July went, but I'm told it really was here, all 31 days of it in fact. Somehow or other I just completely missed it. Or at least I feel like I did. Because the calendar flipped to month number 7, and then it flipped once again to month number 8, seemingly overnight. And you know what that means? For all intents & purposes, summer is over. School is just around the corner. And I'm not ready in any way, shape, or form. Ugh~
Anyhoo, putting my grumbling aside (grin), I'll share a few little tidbits regarding our adventures of this weekend past. In the western part of the state we wrapped up (almost) the summer swim season with the state championships at VA Tech. We had a grand time (though the pups did not... prison [aka: the kennel] is NOT their avorite place) as both Bub and Noh-man competed for 4 days straight. And now, as a result, both have many, many, many more things to add to their gratitude journals. A few of the highlights:
Noh-man (as ranked amongst his fellow 9 year-olds):
In the 400 meter freestyle-- 1st in the state.
In the 100 meter butterfly-- 1st in the state.
And in the 200 meter individual medley-- 3rd in the state.
Bub (as ranked amongst his fellow 11-year olds):
In the 400 meter freestyle-- 1st in the state.
In the 200 meter butterfly-- 4th in the state.
And in the 100 meter freestyle-- 4th in the state.
Popping at the seams proud doesn't come close to describing my mental state at this moment in time (well, other than exhausted :). My boys fought and scrappled and did.their.thing. with the best (and fastest) in the state, and though they both had their ups and their downs, they never gave up, they never gave in, and they never sacrificed humility or courage or determination or honor in their pursuit of victory. The Lord continues to work in their hearts and in their lives, and I simply could not ask for more. To Him be the glory... great things He has done!
Now... as for fast-food overload-- I think you get the point. Four days and three nights in a hotel does not for healthy living make. But we survived (and oh, how I still love Chick-fil-a!) and once again have a whole new appreciation for home-cooked meals.
And now... now that we're home... and now that it's August (yes, I'm still trying to get my mind around that fact), we're gonna crash. And crash HARD. Because we're plumb tuckered out. See you when we wake up~ or perhaps next fall... whichever comes first :)