Monday, May 25, 2009

Celebrating My Girl

Last month our little girl turned 5. It is at this age when I realize just how fast they grow from tiny babes to active toddlers to young children who think they are ready to take on the world. The years have flown by and I thank God for the privilege of having a little girl to share all things feminine. She is the one in our household that always notices when I fix my hair differently, paint my nails, or set a pretty dinner table. She is the one that is aware of the emotions of others in the home, the one who points out what flowers are blooming in our yard, and the one who is always up for more snuggling. I pray we will raise her well in the fear and admonition of the Lord and that I will raise her well to delight in her femininity and to be a gracious young woman. It is a big task and one I don't take lightly. But I dream of the day when she is grown and excels in her womanly roles and the calling God has given her that we will see unfold in due time. She is a work in process. (And so is her mama!).

To celebrate her birthday this year we had a family dinner with her favorite food, rice, and she was able to open gifts that evening and enjoy cake no. 1. A few days later, we enjoyed a tea party with a few friends and their moms. The the moms had time to catch up while the girls played dress-up and did beading. It was a simple and elegant with fine china, fresh flowers, and a table set especially for the girls. And the girls were all dressed up in pretty dresses and using their best manners.
Some days the challenges of raising this girl overwhelm and exhaust me as I do my best to instruct her how to control her emotions, behave in a ladylike manner and think more of others, but I pray God gives me wisdom and endurance for the journey and a lifelong friendship with this one He has given me the joy of calling "my daughter."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wondering on Wednesday

I've been wondering about lots of things lately. Like....

... Should I take a chance and get our vegetable seedlings planted outdoors (protected) before the end of May? I'm getting antsy to get them in the ground because I know the fall frost comes too quickly and they need as many days for the growing season as possible.

How do parents decide, how do WE decide which activities and what activities or educational opportunities are truly beneficial to our kids and manageable for our whole family?
T-ball, American Heritage Girls and Cub Scouts, fall soccer, church children's choir, Pioneer Club, swimming lessons, music lessons, Classical Conversations ... and the list of options goes on and on. At the ages of 5 and 6, how do you know things your child has a natural inclination toward? And with multiple children, how do you maintain the importance of home when you are out of the home more evenings than you are at home together as a family? It seems it is a process of choosing the best over the good...I feel clueless.

Why can't I get my act together to keep my house reasonably clean and orderly? The feeling of peace that comes from a clean and tidy house for me is one of the most refreshing things I experience...though I don't experience it too often. And I'm wishing we had our house had active storage space.

How do moms on a budget find times of refreshment? A day at the spa or a wardrobe or personal makeover ain't gonna happen here. And even on evenings when I am able to get out alone, I don't know what to do with myself, and I still need to cook dinner for my family, which detracts from the notion of a break.

Why do I like junky food? But I am finding that on mornings when I start with a spinach/fruit/protein shake, I crave junk far less. And I am drinking half as much soda as I was last year, so progress is happening, ever so slowly.

And why am I not losing any weight even though I have worked out 105 times this year so far? Oh, non-cooperative metabolism! Yes, my heart is healthier and I am stronger, but the scale is not budging.

How can I simplify shopping so I can spend more time doing things I enjoy or things that need more attention in my home? And without increasing our grocery budget?

How can we free up money in our budget for ordinary things like kids' activities, day trips out and about in this great state, more gardening supplies and the like. Not extravagances, just the costs that come with living a rich family life.

Am I good mom to my kids? What are my primary purposes and priorities in mothering and in the rest of life so that I do the important things well and let the less important things get less time and attention?

So far, none of these questions are really resolved. Hopefully in time many of them will be.