Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sand, Pebbles, and Stones

Many years ago, when I was still in high school, I heard a sermon illustration that has stuck with me all this time. This past Friday and Saturday I attended the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference with some ladies from church and I heard the illustration again.

I has to do with prioritizing and balancing all the things that we, as busy moms, need to balance. There are days when things go undone, maybe we don't get to the dishes, or the laundry that needed to be put away. But there comes a point when you really have to sit down and think about the important things in your life and what matters most. You have to set your priorities straight. Even then, once your priorities are in order, there are going to be times when things are left undone, because there are just so many minutes in a day. And, do you know what? That is okay!

Consider this: If you put sand in a bucket, then small pebbles on top of the sand, then larger stones on top, it is not all going to fit. BUT if you first put those large stones in, then the smaller pebbles, then pour the sand in, the sand will filter through all the cracks down to the bottom and the sand will fit in the bucket along with the pebbles and stones.

The bucket is our day-to-day life. It holds all the "stuff" that we need to get done. The sand represents all of the little things that we often run around frantically trying to accomplish; chores, errands, our to-do lists. The small pebbles represent the people in our lives who need us or those that we have the opportunity to bless throughout our day. The larger stones guessed it! God and our relationship with Him. What happened in the bucket illustration when we tried to put in our sand and pebbles first? God didn't fit. That day God was an afterthought. Maybe you quickly gave a sleepy little prayer before you crashed that night, but you didn't give Him much of your time.

But when the day started out with God (large stones) all the other "stuff" fell into place. Notice too, that the pebbles (the people in our lives) are put in before our to-do lists. If you have to make the choice between blessing a person-a friend, a family member, a church member, an exhausted mommy-always, always choose the person over your to-do lists or your errands.

This was applicable to my life back when I was a junior in high school just as it is today as a wife, mom, and teacher. I still have work to do in the art of prioritizing but each day, God's grace meets me where I fall short and I wake up the next day and try it again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Five Question Friday

***Disclaimer...sorry about all the wonky formatting...can't fix it.

This is my first time doing Five Question Friday started by Mama M at My Little Life. If you want to read more about 5QF, hop on over to her blog. Okay here goes....

1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? This is tough. I love Rachel McAdams. We have nothing in common but I think she is gorgeous. I know that after I publish this, I will think of someone better.
2. Did you ever go to summer camp?
I went to 4-H camp once in 4th grade...I cried and was miserable for the most part. Then cried even more when I realized that I had forgotten stamps so I could send my mama a letter. So I put a letter in the mailbox with 27cents (or however much it cost back then) thinking that the mailman would take it and put a stamp on the envelope for me. But when I later checked the mailbox, someone had stolen my money and left the envelope...then I cried some more.

I then went to Church camp in 10 grade...had the best time there!! No crying.
3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?Geckos!!!!! They do not look like the cute little GEICO gecko, and there's no endearing Australian accent.---I have been paralyzed with fear of those things on more than one occasion. Once when Cecil and I were first married I found one in our bathroom. I had never seen one and it FREAKED ME OUT!! I mean they are transluscent for heaven's sake.

Then once more recently, I found one in my office as I was setting up for a photo shoot. It was literally staring me down in the corner and I couldn't do anything about it. Alyssa could tell that I was panicked and said, "Mommy, maybe you should pray to God for strength". I stood there and watched that thing until my photography "client" got there and had him remove it from my presence. Luckily he was my brother-in-law.
4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?Leaving waayyy early when I have to be somewhere. It's what we fight most about. I want to be 10-20 minutes early...he wants to be right on time.
5. What is currently your favorite song?I Need A Savior by Among the Thirsty

My Girls' Checklists

I am a list maker. I make lists for everything. I have even been known to add something extra that I did that was not originally on the list just so I can cross it off. I have my list of chores, groceries, daily tasks, lists for work, lists for extra things I'm doing (like the school book fair). I just love lists.

So imagine my sheer delight when I found my girls making these one night.
The first one is Alyssa's (8). The second one is Lylah Grace's (5). I really hope you can make out what they say. They are so cute...they have their day mapped out detail by detail. Lylah Grace's says things like:
Sleep for 10 hours
Wake Up
Get Dressed...
Wait at Door
Go to Van
I have passed on just a bit of my Type A gene to them and I love it! It's a very, very small bit but I'll take it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What's On Your Cabinets?

I'm still cleaning. I have finished the office, along with the living room and foyer. I am halfway through the kitchen, which is a painfully daunting task, between the refrigerator, oven, inside the cabinets and pantry. But it is coming along. The tops of my cabinets are bare and I vow not to use that area as storage ever again. Apparently that used to be the hiding place of choice when we wanted to keep something from the children. I found 2 baby bottles that Cecil put up there when trying to get Ava off the bottle (still working on that one). I found two pacifiers (put there when trying to get David off the pacifier (that mission was accomplished). I found a Pooh Bear book that was supposed to be a Christmas present for a nephew (about 2 Christmases ago) ...apparently I forgot where I hid it. I found a giant art kit filled with paints, markers and crayons that the older girls used to strow everywhere, and use to color the walls. And I also found a Valentine's Day card (not from this past Valentine's Day) that opens up and sings the High School Musical theme song over, and over, and over, and over again. I bet you can guess why that was up there.
I had to take a break for a bit because the hubs is installing flooring in the kids' rooms. ----Am I the only one who hates it when someone reads over my shoulder while I blog? I love you, honey but please go away. Thanks!----Anyway, we ripped up the nasty carpet that was in there...the carpet that we installed about 3 years ago...the carpet that I hated (no offense to anyone who loves carpet), and we are putting down laminate wood flooring. Not real wood because we know our children well enough to know that it will need to be replace in a few years anyway.


Back to work I go, hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Let the Cleaning begin...

I started Spring Cleaning today. To be honest, I'm never sure where to start when I'm spring cleaning. Or even what to do when I spring clean. I just know it's something I'm supposed to do. But who is really going to notice if I vacuum all my ceilings and walls, really?? Anyway, vacuum I did. So far I have completed my living room and foyer....walls, ceilings, fan, under couch cushions, vacuumed shades, cleaned out fireplace, dusted every surface, cleaned all glass, organized DVD's, vacuumed and cleaned floors. So, if you happen to visit me anytime soon, please say something to the effect of, "Wow, your house really looks so much cleaner", so that I will feel like this was all worth my time.

How about you? Have you complete your spring cleaning? Do you plan to? What tasks to you aim to complete while cleaning?