Monday, January 28, 2013

Taking Care of Mom or We must Retrench!

Last week the chatter on the HOD boards was about ME TIME, how to get it and do we need it. Don't we all think as Supermom Christians  we're never supposed to be sad, depressed, worried, burned out, selfish, or backslide!  We tend to display to the world a exemplary life "having it altogether" That  Really my life is fabulous motif  hahahaha!!!   How many of us have sat through sermons exhorting us to a strong spiritual life leaning daily on the Holy Spirit and then go home to a emotional and physical mess and think "I'll never make it".  At Irving Bible Church last night they had a great speaker. His name is Rett Smith, But oh my goodness he was such a babe in arms! He even opened with Yes I'm sooo young what can I possibly know to help you. Too funny! 

Over all his message was good. I think if he read Bondage Breaker his message about anxiety would change a wee bit. But he was right on in so many places!  Overall he affirmed to me. We are going the right direction with Sweet Potato.  Now if ever a child is anxious it is Sweet Potato... We all have fears in our lives, but she is a child living in perpetual fear. When she is not afraid, she picks a new thing to be afraid about. Unless she is having to much fun to be bothered. She is afraid of grey clouds because they might turn green and then it's a tornado.   I used to be afraid a volcano would grow up in the back yard and start spewing lava everywhere.  So I understand where irrational fears come from. Even rational fear need not make one anxious forever, for example: I was once in a bee swarm and got covered in stings. I have a rational fear of bees, but after 25 years I no longer jump up and run away.  I'm back to "It won't bug you, if you don't bug it." and only hyperventilating for a minute or 2. We don't have to live stuck to our anxiety.  Rett Smith said just because kids are good at 38 things does not mean they need to be involved in 38 things. It creates to much anxiety, then he quietly said:

  • "Kids should be involved in one thing at a time." 

Think about that for a minute.  How much time would you as a Mom gain if your kids were only in one Hobby at a time?  How much family time would you gain? If you have a family of 3 with kids in just 2 different things. You could be looking at getting in the car and driving to 6 "activities" a week, add in bible study, or Awana, play dates, sleepovers and what is left for you and your family?

I know self sacrificing to the point of burn out does no one any good. Yes I see Heroes of the faith standing up and living a life of sacrifice above and beyond human ability.

  • I also learned these heroes of the faith have a prayer life often 4 hours long.
    That is a heck of a lot of alone time! 
  • How can we continue to pour out if we don't pour into ourselves?  

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a parent was from my sister. "When your expectations are too high, Lower Them."  the next great piece of advice I heeded was from Thompson's book "When Love is Not Enough"  It told us to look in the mirror and if we resembled the image Which I did, to ask ourselves "If I was a child would I want to be parented by that?"  And she also recommended Retrenching: Reduce or diminish (something).  In our case we removed Girl Scouts, Dance Class, and Gymnastics from our activities to focus on our child who needed more Mom and Dad time and less be all you can be time. 

Rett quoted  Mark 12 28-31
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

I loved how he used this verse to show how Jesus wants us to take care of first things first. This is the part where you fill up your jug before you go and pour it out on your family and others. I loved looking up at his slide and saying YES, this is what I have found to work! He broke it up in to 4 parts
  • Heart: Keeping your spirits up, Coffee with a friend, Date nights with your man. 
  • Soul: Keeping close to God, Personal retreats, Quiet time, Praying together.
  • Mind: Keeping mind sharp, Hobbies, Non fiction books, learning new things.  
  • Body: Keeping your body fit: Exercise, eat healthy food. 
All these pieces of the puzzle will enable us to be strong, and pour ourselves back out into our families and the body of Christ. Often to have the time to do these things we need to say No. Saying no to teaching a class, or saying no to our child because the event is to late, to far, to much. It also allows us to say, Yes to game nights with friends, walks to the playground, time of wonder to sit and just be or just think, for kids to sit and swing. Time to walk the dog and chat with the neighbors, to lay outside and look at the clouds with your child.

Yes if your child is fabulous at Soccer put him in Soccer, but you don't have to be the soccer mom 5 times in a row. Really if you don't do it someone else will rise to the occasion,  or you just bring your own drinks for your own kidlet, its really not as enormous as its chalked up to be.  He doesn't have to play both seasons, if he wants to take a painting class let him drop soccer for a season. involvement is great, but not if you are all to tired to enjoy each other at the end of the day.

So go ahead try it, say no till your kid is down to one thing, take time to have coffee with a friend, take a nap, gaze at the stars, walk to the park and enjoy a more sedated paced life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So what is it you do??

Many people just don't get Gospel For Asia's method of reaching the lost. I think that is why K.P Yohannan wrote Revolution in World Missions so many years ago. Once you read that book you finally "get it."  Sunday I was explaining what our family does, to Sweet Potatoes teacher and she kept thinking we worked for our (totally awesome IBC) Church, and that we travel to India on a regular basis.

I think I got through to her, but to be sure I texted her the website. I see this often, people think of soup kitchens and door to door sharing as local missions.  Overseas missions are people who travel and live in-country doing bible translation, church planting, or medical missions.  We don't fit into any of those categories so confusion abounds. When I explained we raise up "locals" to go locally, She thought we flew the students here to train them and then sent them back. Why is it we have plenty of Indian trained doctors working in the USA. Trained in India!, but we immediately jump to the thought "Missionaries have to be trained in the USA?" When I then elaborated we have in-country bible colleges I saw her think oh "a bible college"  when I elaborated on the scope of the ministry, adding in Bridge of Hope schools, well digging, women's literacy, and radio.  She looked at me and said something along the lines of "You must be much larger than I had thought. I've never heard of your organization."  Ding, Ding, Ding we have a winner! 

Sadly people don't seem to get it, we are a polygon shaped peg and all they know is round and square pegs.  We have a large multifaceted organization, 100% of donations for the field, go to the field. Home team staff raise their own support read that as: live on donated money. We live in the states (bombarded by advertising, and the message Keep up with the Jones's,) choosing to live simply and serving the Lord here instead of over there... Which makes Grandparents happier because they can actually hug their grand kids once in a while, instead of just using Facetime to see them.  I sometimes wonder, do they stop and think where: Do all the videos come from? The printing of the books? The processing of the gifts?  Do they picture just a small staff to handle the scope of what the Lord has entrusted to us? 

On that note I'd like to share a video Desperation for Clean Water This is one of the things I "get" to do here at the ministry.  I really love using my voice in this way. How better to use our tongues than to share stories of how we can help others. 

We are often told "Living as a missionary in the states is one of the hardest things to do." It is true.  The pull of family, churches and friends all wondering why you choose to live a simple life, when life could be so much easier if you quit and got a "real job." Questions like "Why aren't you being a responsible man/woman/parent and providing better for your self/family?" often get heard. The answer is; the call to be obedient to God is greater. I think that is why they call it "called to be a missionary" Tho I have not yet learned to always enjoy living by faith I have been continually amazed at the Lords faithfulness.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CTC Unit 20 Watercolor Tutorial

I sure hope I  understood these directions! When it said use blue to drop in clouds I went with what I thought she meant. I'm not very good at that technique tho. I do enjoy it but I need more practice, but on the whole I think that is a good thing since your tots will be doing this for the first time and so the bar is set pretty low... 
 Our supply photo.... lots of colors. 
 You will need black and white if you do not have grey. Here I go mixing it up. 
 Wet grey. 
wetting the blue 
 To drop in blue clouds I mix plenty of water into my light blue paint.
I've switched to this type of pallet because it helps contain the liquid. 
Wet the paper  
 If you work with your paper up right your clouds will drip down and be of a different style. 
I'm following the negative space of the cloud.  
 This is just the beginning of how I drop in clouds. I'm imagining the storm clearing away, it's breaking up and blue sky can be seen peeking though. 
The wet technique has softened the edges of the top clouds. 
 I went in and added the grey and softly infiltrated the the upper clouds. 
 I have No idea if this is right :-) But when I followed the instructions I ended up with a tornado. 
Dabbing off the excess paint really worked well giving me white where there was too much grey.  
Now I wanted lots of flowers. I followed the instructions trying to make masses of them.  
 Do you think I made to many? See how I'm following along in the book. 
Notice how my flowers are just dabs of paint. i used my light green here to add the bent stalks. 
 Part of me wishes I had a better point on my fine brush. 
 More stalks.... 
 I'm now wondering why I added so many flowers But I don't have to add stalks for each one it's up to my whimsy how many I do. 

 I don't have an orange so I mixed some up. Notice how I am adding red into yellow not Yellow into red. adding the darker color in to the lighter in small quantities gives you more control over your paint. 
 See eventually I take over the yellow paint but I have still plenty of red. 
Mix up some pink if you don't have any.  
 Dab dab dab

Here we go with orange 

 Maybe next time I won't make as many flowers...
 Still dabbing. 
 And Complete! 

Here is Little Miss Sunshine's. Sweet Potato was away when hers is complete I'll pop it up. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Creation To Christ Unit 19 watercolor Tutorial

Today we do a landscape of a mountain. My kids loved this project. 
Yet again as you progress you think to your self will this work? Will this really look like a mountain when we are done? To help I printed off a picture of a mountain from the internet, for the kids to look at. This helped them (and me!) get an idea of what we are supposed to be doing.  My kids fresh from seeing The Hobbit declared we were painting the Lonely Mountain.  We did read The Hobbit as our fantasy read aloud, then they went and put on the Misty Mountain song as background music. I'm tempted to put a Red Dragon looking for dwarfs flying around it!

Day 2

 Sketch your mountain and foot hills. 

 Notice I did not put my Mountain dead center of my paper. I don't want a symmetrical painting I want it to be interesting and have movement. So putting your focal point left or right of center actually makes it look better. 
Feel free to squeeze out big blobs as we will be using plenty of paint this time.  
Mix all your paint up before hand.  
 I have to admit I used a bit of black in my blue to make it a cooler blue for my Misty Mountain.
It's as easy as paint by numbers today! 
 Now the gray foot hills. 
Paint away. 
 Uh oh!  some of the black paint ended up on the edge of my brush. But I loved how it made ridges in my gray I don't think I could have done that on purpose. I just let it be instead of working it into the gray. 
 You may need to wet your green if it has dried out. 
Pulling the green into a bit of white helps control the shade.
If you want it darker pull a bit more green into it with the edge of your brush. 
 Painting away! 
 That is done. 
 I needed to add more white to my green. I used a lot of the original light green paint so 
I gave myself plenty of white to work with. 
 Now it is all mixed in! 
 Carefully painting the edges. 

 Sweet Potato has drawn and erased and redrawn her mountain... now she is happy and starts painting. 
 Little Miss Sunshine has the tape all stuck together! 
 This is fun Mom, and easy! 
Ok I'm all ready to set it aside till tomorrow. Put it in a safe place! 

Day 3
All we need today is small round brush.
My advice for today is take your time don't rush and enjoy the process.  
 For today you do not need big blobs of paint start small esp with the Dark Blue, and the Light Blue. 
I choose a forest green since we are doing trees today. 
 Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of water to your white paint to make the first step. 
Paint it on your edges to soften them.  
Don't scrub it in just lay it down.  
 Take your time. 
 Do each layer. 
 Kids are keeping up! 

 Little Miss Sunshine didn't wait for day 3... 
 Now I started putting in my trees. 
A few at a time 
 Here I'm suddenly thinking of forest elves. 
 its gonna have to be a big forest if it's gonna be the edges of Murkwood. 

 Oh my that will take forever! Maybe it's not Murkwood. maybe its the other side of the mountain. 
 Keep mixing the green as the instructions tell you to. 
 These trees I made slightly bigger since they are "closer" to me. 
 Trees! & more Trees!
Some over here, some over there. 
 Mix the paint again to get a lighter Green. 
 These trees I dabbed on making them even bigger, having a look at a good photo of a mountain landscape can help you know where and how to place these trees. Don't worry if they are a bit messy it's ok. This isn't meant to be a painting you will be looking at up close. 
 More trees marching on . 
 My hubby like this one too, but asked me to put in a sky I added some clouds on mine.
I'm still contemplating adding Smaug. 
But here ends Carries instructions. 
 Little Miss Sunshine's final work of art. 
Here is Sweet Potato's I really like this one.