Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are you ready?

As I got up this morning, even earlier than usual, I had one thing on my mind.  Was I ready?  You see, I am a mom of Faith, with soon to be four children in the public school system.  We have enjoyed a wonderful summer so far!  I have had the blessing of seeing growth both physically and spiritually in my kids in the last few months.  When I think about them going back to school, I can allow myself to worry if their faith will be diminished, when once again they become surrounded by the secular for several hours a day.  Then I remember that 'worry' is a sin.  It shows lack of trust in God who has my best interest at heart, but not just mine, my children's too.  Most times,  the growth we experience in our spiritual walk is preceded by trials and difficulties.  A good friend once told me that if I find myself outside of my comfort zone, then I'm probably right where God wants me.  Well, public school is definitely outside of my comfort zone!  Knowing this tidbit....I must be getting ready to 'grow'!  I have determined to make the best!  I will be a prayer warrior, vigilant to situations and circumstances that will require discussions with my children and extra prayer with my savior and theirs.  I will be the best example I can be to those around me and teach my children to be lights.  I will try my best to remember that those around us, may see us as the only examples of 'lives of faith' that day.  I want to be, and I want to teach my children to be, the best ambassadors for Christ that we can be.  I pray that all you parents will join me as I commit to praying over our children each day.  I will be praying for God's blessings, God's protection, and also for opportunities to be His hands and feet wherever the day takes these kids of ours.  I will try to remember at all times that these children were His before they were mine, and that His plans for their lives are far better than any plans I could come up with.  I will purpose to not get in the way of the blessings He has planned for them by hovering and keeping them in a bubble.  Instead I will encourage and support them as they grow, right where they are, comfortable or not.  I will remember each day that He said, "For I know the plans I have for you,...They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11  I am so thankful that God spoke this for not only me, but for everyone, including our children!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Clean Cheap Fun

Spent the afternoon with my daughter Emily doing the "thrifty".  Tired of spending copious amounts of money on laundry detergent, we decided to make our own.  I've never cooked soap before, but it was REALLY easy!  Three ingredients plus water!  First we grated 1/2 a bar of Ivory soap and melted it in a pot with 6 cups of water.  Next we added 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax.  Stirred over medium heat until dissolved.  Poured into our old (cleaned) diaper pail with 1 gallon plus 6 more cups of water. Stirred and let set for 24 hours.  It looks like egg drop soup!  1/2 cup in our HE washer and everything is clean!!  Cost less than 10 cents a load!  Next on the list..... homemade all purpose cleaner and dish soap!  Mostly the same ingredients, but we've decided to scent it a little!  We've also decided to try our hand at hand milled soap.  Maybe goats milk soap???

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Mountain Top Experience

The last Friday in July dawned beautiful and cool.  It was a wonderful break from the stifling heat that had been with us for over a month, and couldn't have come at a better time.  Three generations set out to conquer Old Rag Mountain in the picturesque Shenandoah with nothing but water bottles, trail mix, and of course, good hiking shoes!  We left the Fredericksburg area before 6 A.M. to drive the one and a half hours to the base of the mountain.  Of course, nothing is ever quick with a family of six, so we didn't reach our destination until almost 8!!  Even so, we got off to an early enough start that this was not a problem.  As we started off the spirits of most of the participants was high.  We had a couple of laggers, but by the time we hit the rocky portion, this seemed to have dissipated!  The teamwork morphed into something spectacular!  The generation gap disappeared as young and old leaned on one another to accomplish something neither could do as well on their own.  Brothers and sisters grabbed hands to pull one another over boulders, young pushed old up rock faces that seemed insurmountable, old watched as young scaled to heights too high for comfort and reigned in the over exuberant!  Reaching the summit was a team effort for the entire group that left a mark in our memories of a time when age ceased to separate us, and helping one another was more fulfilling than going it alone.  Reaching the top together was an unbelievable "mountain top experience".  I pray that the experience on the mountain will continue to bind us together, grandparents, parents, and kids, and that we will travel the bridge between generations more often in the future.