26 April 2012

One Quick Tip: Teaching Respect

Dear Lissy,

Whether you're dealing with a child yelling or a teenager gossiping, teach this lesson early and often:

Love you scrunches & bunches,

21 April 2012

One Quick Tip: Laundry

Dear Lissy,

Best. stain-treatment. ever.


P.S.  You can also use 1/4 cup grated in place of laundry detergent in a pinch.  Start the wash with hot water and allow it to dissolve before filling the remainder of the machine with cold.

20 April 2012

One Quick Tip: The 3 Day Week

Dear Lissy,
Feeling overwhelmed?  The 3 day week is much easier to manage than a full seven day plan.

  • Write a 3-day "to have done" master list.  Make a list of things that absolutely, positively have to be done three days from today.  These will feed your daily to-do list.
  • Write menus and market for only 3 days at a time instead of a whole week.  This change has been a huge mental "win" for me.  I can write a three day menu in the blink of an eye, the shopping is a snap, and everything fits easily in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.  As a bonus, I've gotten better at planning the menus to the weather and what I already have on hand.  Because of a well-stocked freezer and pantry, I can easily go an extra day or two if I don't have time to grocery shop.
  • Take a baby step towards a new habit.  Another mental trick.  Even getting up an hour a day earlier for three days seems very doable. If you have anything you've been wanting to add (or subtract) from your life, three days is a great period of time to try out that commitment. 
  • Catch up on an old commitment.   It happens to us all:  the laundry grows out of control, the History paper falls behind schedule, or a sewing project gets stuck on the back burner.  Plan a three day "blitz" to get yourself back on track.
  • Keep your plans in clear sight.  I keep a whiteboard on the back of the kitchen door that I divide into three columns.  I put up our general schedule, any special errands or chores, appointments, and our menu. Since everyone in the family sees it multiple times a day, we end up with very few oopsies.
Busy seasons of life come and go.  A three day week may be just the boost you need mentally when you're flat out physically.

 Star Kisses!

Linked up at Works for Me Wednesday

16 April 2012

Spirit-Led Parenting

Dear Lissy,

Once again a book is making the rounds of the internet that claims to be God's way to parent your baby.  Young, bleary-eyed mommas are so vulnerable to these ideas that it breaks my heart.

God never intended a book or your peers to provide wisdom for navigating the trails of parenting.  

Call me, or your aunt Debi, or find a godly older woman in your local church who has already finished raising her family to help you.  They may recommend a book as a tool once they know you and your situation, but the Holy Spirit has already revealed how He intends for you to learn to parent in Titus 2:3-5

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

I sent you an annotated bibliography about a year ago that contained some books that we've consulted during our parenting years.  All of these were written by couples or individuals that had finished raising their families and had adult children who loved the Lord.  These resources were always second to the Word of God and godly older couples in our own church.

This is such a serious letter I'll end with a funny story from your baby years.
You were a fairly happy baby, but I felt like I was constantly short-changing your brothers because I could no longer play with them like I once did.  As I sadly related this to an elderly woman in my church, she laughed and looked at me like I had three eyes.
"Honey", she said, "in my day we had so much work to do and so many kids we gave them a sheet and an ironing board and told them we didn't want to see them again until lunch.  Family time was always after dinner was cleaned up at night.  Your boys just need some time to play and explore on their own."
That was some of the best advice I've ever received.  She was able to share that advice because she knew me and knew my children.   She had spent time in our home and knew their play areas were secure.  That same advice could have been disastrous for another mom with kids exactly the same ages.
My friends were advising me to "let the house go" and just enjoy my kids.  The parenting magazines (our equivalent of blog posts) were filled with crafts, games, units, and encouragement to take an active role in every moment of my pre-schoolers lives.  Only the "aged woman" that God had placed in my church family gave me the perspective and advice I needed.

Spirit-led parenting?  It's claiming the grace to obey God's plan as revealed in His Word by faith.