Five-Minute Friday

Lisa-Jo Baker’s prompt was the word “small”.  Being a mother of three, I almost need to say “don’t get me started on the word small!”  I have too many blessings in small packages to name!  I will try to restrain myself =)

I’m staying up late just to write this post.  I figure it’s better to stay up Thursday night than to stare at a screen for five minutes Friday morning when my kids are awake.  Five minutes might seem like small potatoes to us grown-ups, but to the five-and-under crowd, it’s all about the small things…

Staying up late the night before Valentine’s to cut out red paper hearts to surprise my daughter.  I scrounged up some old ribbon (from someone’s bridal shower) and tiny play clothes-pins (from another’s baby shower before any of mine were even a pea in the pod).  Then I found some thumb tacks and hung the long strands of love-cut hearts in the two archways of our home.  Princess woke up early, beaming.

Daddy took princess out to dinner on Valentine’s Day.  I wish I could have caught on camera her bashful, beaming smile when she saw the dress shirt and pants I handed to daddy, which he only wore on very special occasions.

I remembered Rachel Jankovic’s words, and my purpose for this blog… heavy branches.  Bearing fruit.  Even if that means staying up all night cutting out paper hearts.  Doing little (or majorly time-consuming) things to bless others.

Small gestures with big thoughts behind them.

Small things like making bread.  My daughter’s been asking for weeks “When will we make bread?”  But I haven’t made any in so long, I had forgotten that it’s really not that big of a burden.  In fact, I noticed something the day we made bread together, and I stopped to think about it the next time we made bread together just a few days later.  My children sit patiently and wait, regardless of how long it takes me to prep, when they know I’m going to do one small thing that they have really been wanting to do.

So I have a challenge for you–something I began over a year ago and have been inconsistent about myself since but will tomorrow morning pick back up again.  Print out this month’s calendar, and next month’s calendar (and so on), and each day purpose to fill in one small thing (or one big thing!) that you did to make that day worthwhile.  Granted, loving, feeding, and caring for your family makes the day worthwhile, but I’m talking about that little extra thing.  My old calendar has things like, “let kids stay up to see stars”, “had a picnic in the grass”, “met daddy for lunch”, and “read books together”.

Speaking of small, how can such a small, eight-month-old person have such a big voice?

And how can that same, small person have such a big impact on my life?

And how can a small, three-year-old boy, have so much love for God?  “Mommy, when will I go to heaven?” “Why do you want to go to heaven?” “because I love God”

Happy Friday!

Five Minute Friday

The Discouraging Wife’s Role in The Torment and Testing of Job

(Affiliate link included)

For convenience, I’m writing this post with the assumption that my audience has a basic understanding of who Job is and where to find the book of Job in the Holy Bible.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I would love to help.  Please send me an e-mail!

Every Saturday, my husband and I participate in a fellowship group at my friend’s house where we share a meal and discuss Scripture.  A few weeks ago, we were reading through the book of Job together. Continue reading

Tuesday Links

My Tuesdays are on-the-go busy, with Bible study from 9-11am and then ballet classes (I teach in the gym at our church) from 3:00-5:00.  And we’re 15 minutes from town, so driving back and forth with children 5 and under does tend to make me tired by the end of the day and not leave much time in-between for blogging.

So today I’m just sharing what others took the time to write–links that I remembered after looking at them!

I know Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and I’m sharing this now on purpose.  Love is every day.  That’s the point: Real Love   and   When You Think Your Love Story is Boring

Kelly Crawford, a former high school teacher turned homeschool mom of nine wrote “An Open Letter of Apology to My Former High School Student

Have a great Tuesday!

Romance Your Man With Minestrone (Easy!)

(Affiliate links included in post)

Valentines Day is approaching, and if you are planning a date night at home, or you would really like to plan a date night, period, a delicious and easy-to-make recipe is a must! Continue reading

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Graced Simplicity

The Fastest Way Out of Overwhelmed

FastestWayOutofOverwhelmed copy

Some days I just get what my mind dubs “overwhelmed”.  I feel like the waves are coming over me and my head is rarely above water.

The dishes in the sink.

The laundry with clothes we need clean for today’s outing.

The kids running in different directions.

Three voices saying “mom” “mom” “maaaaaaa”.

Do I tell everyone to “STOP!”?  Do I begin barking orders like a drill sergeant?  I only have three kids for crying out loud, is that really too many people to manage?  No… but I don’t want to manage them; I want to grow them.  I want to grow them.  It’s overwhelming.

It’s the consciousness that time is fleeting and there’s no pause button.

But remembering why I feel overwhelmed in the first place is to remember that the things I do are for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God through helping my husband and growing the next generation.

The dishes and laundry and outings and meals are all for the purpose, but they themselves are not the purpose.

You can’t grow up people without clothing, feeding, and sheltering them.  These things must take place, and they just won’t do themselves.  But when all we have to do begins to get heavy, we need to step back and look at it all through eternity-colored glasses, allowing ourselves to be transformed into graceful mamas by the renewing of our minds (and priorities).

Each child is not a member of a group collectively known as “the children”.  Each child is an individual, and she needs individual attention.  He needs to know I didn’t just hear his thoughts but that I was thinking about what he was thinking.  Facing the dishes while listening to a child who is sitting at the table drawing is absolutely time together with her.  But if days go by and this is the only type of communication we have, then everyone begins to feel restless.  She begins to show frustration and say I don’t spend time with her…

This is when I stop and make eye contact.

Hands-down, in my ten years of marriage and five years of being a mother, giving a person my full attention through eye contact while they are speaking has been the “gentle answer that turns away wrath”.  It’s softened the countenance of even the most momentarily-rebellious strong-willed child and drastically changed the course of our day.  It’s shown trust to the skeptic and joy to the downcast.

Eye contact can last 10 seconds or 10 minutes and may need to be reapplied several times per day.  This is a supplement to giving the One who is always speaking into us our full attention.

Remember why we’re here.  Remember what are the means and what is the end.  In all things, embrace grace.  I’m in this right along with you.

Now go find some children’s eyes to smile into.

Sharing with: Time Warp Wife, The Road to 31, Abiding Woman, Growing Home Blog, Raising Homemakers, Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman 2 Woman Ministries, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows, Serving Joyfully, The Modest Mom Blog, A Mama’s Story, Far Above Rubies, Teaching What is Good,