March 10, 2011

Queen of the Castle: Week 9

We're back near the beginning of the book.  We started on week 17 of Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker HERE (in April of 2010).

This week's chapter, "When There's No Way Around the Busyness", spoke to me.  We all have moments when we are spinning a bunch of plates like a circus performer, and then look at the stack of plates that are waiting for our attention and get discouraged.  Am I right?  Sometimes we try to simplify life as much as we can, but there's nothing else we can cut out of life.  Doctor's appointments, library trips, groceries, all has to get done.  Lynn, the author, reminds us that in our day "If you spoke encouraging words to a child, if you communicated with God, if you lent your husband a supportive ear and provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you have put in a good day's work.  No matter how much is still on your to-do list."  *sigh*  What a great reminder!

We can have a busy life, but still have peace.  If we start to feel panicked then maybe we've failed to ask the Lord which way we should go.  Joanna Weaver in her book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World says "Ask God to reveal the next step.  As you go through your day, keep asking the Lord.  'What is the one thing I need to do next?'  Don't let the big picture overwhelm you.  Just take the next step as he reveals it -- wash one dish, make one phone call, put on your jogging clothes.  Then take the next step...and the next."  Wow!  Was that ever inspiring to me!  I tend to look at the list of all the things I need to do and get overwhelmed.  I like to make to-do lists for myself.  I love my Motivated Mom's planner (I wrote about it HERE.).  I love scratching off items on the list.  Anyone else weird like that?  So what I'll do sometimes is make a mini for the morning before breakfast, then one for between breakfast and lunch, then one for after lunch.  It helps a bit.  Give it a try.  Baby steps. *smile*  It makes it seem not so overwhelming and if the Lord leads the day in another direction then I'll just use the next mini-list for another time.

 Lynn shares a few ideas for quick breaks for us busy moms...

*Take five minutes to enjoy a cup of tea or juice.  (I love my chai breaks when the little one goes down for her nap, the older ones are finishing school work, and the other ones who are done for the day get to watch a short video in the play room...that's my down time...a cup of chai and a quiet break.)

*Listen to classical music as you fold laundry, drive, or make dinner.  (I like to listen to a bluegrass-ish hammered dulcimer cd in the kitchen when I'm making dinner.)

*Take deep breaths through your nose.  Exhale.  (I have to do that a lot throughout the day.  *wink*)

*Hug someone.  If no one's around, hug the dog.  Or yourself.  (There's always someone around to hug in this house!  Nice problem to have!!)

*Stretch!  Lie on the floor on your back, scoot your bottom as close to the wall as you can, and put your legs straight up in the air, touching the wall.  Let your arms rest however feels most comfortable, and relax there for a couple of minutes. (I do something similar before bed, except I put my feet up on the side of the bed.  Works wonders and I feel better and ready for sleep!)

* * * 

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;  You will cry, and He will say, "Here I am." ... And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.  And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail."  Isaiah 58:9-11

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