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Posts tagged ‘husband’

The Invasion

I have been invaded. Or maybe I should say, my kitchen has been invaded. The invaders come in swarms, too numerous to count. They make trails, devour anything tasty, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

In case you haven’t figured out what they are yet, I’m referring to ants.

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Specifically, honey or sugar ants. These little critters love anything sweet, and seem to smell it from wherever their home is and come after it. Leave an empty but unrinsed bowl of cereal in the counter, and in an hour or two it will be teaming with the little critters. Spill a drop of juice or honey on the counter and fail to wipe it up, and soon there will be a trail of ants going to and fro, the drop itself obscured by their little bodies.

Lately, with my diligence to get the dishes done right after meals and leaving the sink spotless before bed, the tiny ants have not had much motivation to come into my kitchen. However, one night recently I was just too tired. I didn’t shine my sink and I didn’t wash all the dishes. When I walked into the kitchen, they were everywhere. Climbing in and out of dirty bowls by the sink, making trails on the walls and counters, and in general making a royal mess. But I had to get breakfast ready, and I was too hungry to wait until I had cleaned up the kitchen to begin. So I cleared an area near the stove to work on and began, trying to ignore the devastation going on behind me.

I took a package of tofu out of the refrigerator and drained it in the sink. I noticed that an edge piece was loose and decided to have a nibble (I love raw tofu). I have no idea how it got there, but suddenly the flavor of honey ant filled my mouth. If you have never tasted it, you have no idea how awful it is. It’s not the kind of taste that makes you gag, but it is extremely unpleasant, and totally unexpected.

Well, I just lost it. Somehow that taste in my mouth–which doesn’t just rinse out, by the way–was the last straw. I was tired, my husband had yet to come into the kitchen yet (I don’t know if he was up yet–probably, but just hadn’t come out yet), and the kids were already up, and ants were crawling all over me, and I just couldn’t take it. I called him to come help. I knew if the kitchen were cleaned up, the ants would disappear, but I had already started breakfast and couldn’t just stop and clean for 15 minutes. I did take a minute to spray a cleaner on the ants (which has a soap in it, smothering them and killing them instantly). My dear husband came in and washed up the dirty dishes and wiped down the dead ants and any other ones he found wandering around the walls or wherever.

I know I had been tired the night before, but honestly, 10 minutes to right the kitchen would have been much less traumatic than eating an ant the next morning! So lesson learned: Make sure the kitchen is clean the night before; and if I don’t really have the energy to wash the supper dishes, at least rinse anything sweet out of them! And take a minute to wipe the counters!

There is another lesson, however. Sometimes we allow things into our lives that seem harmless, or maybe it’s just a little neglect of duty, such as really taking the time to spend quality time with God. It wasn’t some big rebellion, saying “God, I don’t need You. I can do it on my own.” Just little neglect. But suddenly, life becomes overwhelming and we just can’t take it anymore. Everything is out of control, and we realize that we just can’t do it on our own after all. Then we must cry out to our Heavenly Husband to come help us. He will clean up the sin and the mess, and bring peace and harmony back into our lives.

Oh, that I may not neglect those little things!

Have you heard of P90X? It stands for Power 90 [day] Extreme. It is made by Beachbody, a company that is focused on fitness. Well, starting October 1, I’m going to do it.

One of my friends, John, is a Beachbody coach, so I bought the program through him. He’s doing a challenge with a group of people–5-10, he says–to go through the program for 90 days, then to do P90X2 for the next 90 days. I figure it will be good for me, and motivating.

My husband and I are going to work at it together. He’s already in decent shape–he’s been working out at the gym for a while. I, on the other hand, have a hard time motivating myself to do my workout, even when I get to the gym. I don’t enjoy challenging myself, and my workouts get boring after a while, and I plateau quickly. P90X will solve all of those issues.

I’m not really overweight, but I have some extra “baby fluff” around the middle that I would like to get rid of. Plus I have never been able to do a push-up–not even a girl push-up–ever in my life. And currently I need 80-90 pounds of assistance to do a chin-up. And I only weigh between 130 and 135. It’s what I got down to in my weight loss challenge last year, and I never have gotten lower. I am a bit more fit than I was at the beginning of the summer, thanks to my gym membership, but I have plateaued, and I need something to help get me over this hump.

I’d like to invite you, if you would like to join me in this fitness adventure, check out John’s blog post about the challenge. I’m not doing the shake part of it, for financial reasons, but I wish I could. But I figure there are some things I can do about nutrition anyhow, and I’m really more interested in the camaraderie and accountability. I’m not a Beachbody coach and would get nothing out of it if one or more of my readers wanted to join the challenge, except mutual moral support.

So what do you think? Care to join me?

First off, I’m sorry I forgot to insert the linky tool in last week’s post. However, no one even commented, so I guess it wasn’t missed. I have decided to continue this topic, even if no one participates, because I need to do it for me. That said, though, I would love if some of my readers would participate!

Last week my decision was:

I resolve to make a plan for checking email and being online and to claim victory over wasting time online.

Did I make a plan? Yes. Have I gained consistent victory in this area? No. What can I say? It is not easy to change strong habits. However… as I have continued on with the All Power seminar, I got down to days 25-27, where I have been forced (yes, I chose that word on purpose) to look very closely at myself and my priorities and values, and to make some changes. I have spent a lot of spare thinking time (I say thinking time, because my hands have usually been very busy) trying to figure out where certain areas of my life, especially my blogs, fit into what I want out of life. I think I have figured it out–more abstractly than concretely at the moment–and I’ll probably share about it in a future post once it crystallizes better in my mind. All I know is that if I choose to live by my list of Ultimate End Values that I made yesterday, I will be spending less time in general on the Internet and in particular less time on this blog.

Here is my plan, however, for what it’s worth: I have decided to set certain time frames for being online. These are scheduled into my day, just like other activities like time with God and eating. However, because Internet has lower priority than other things like home and husband and children, the demands of home and husband and children may at times supersede my need to get online, and I may have to forgo time online.

What I do online is going to change somewhat. My list of end values is going to change my focus of activities. For instance, at this point in time financial security is going to have to take precedence over community, especially because my husband is going back to school and my son has expensive health issues. So if I have to choose between writing a post on some helpful cleaning tip for this blog and posting a couple of items on eBay, I’ll choose eBay. I know this could affect my blog in many ways, but I have decided that having lots of readers is not important anymore. I want to share more about who I am and less about what I know here.

I have also decided that I cannot make 5 decisions a week. I just don’t have it in me to focus on that many things right now. So I have made two. Here is one of them:

I determine to make my relationship with God the #1 priority in my life.

I have said that it is, but I have not practiced it. Now I am going to do it. Even if I have to get up early, miss out on sleep, etc. My physical health is not as important as my relationship with God. That said, I believe that getting this in place will make the rest of life fall into place. After all, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

So what decision are you making this week? Please use the linky widget below, or post about it in the comments. Read this for more information on how this link-up is supposed to work.

Introspection

In the last few days, I have been doing a lot of introspection. I won’t go into all the details (I don’t have time to do that, and you probably don’t have time to read it!), but let me see if I can summarize a little.

I’ve been taking the All Power Seminar. If you haven’t heard of it, you should go check it out. If you let it, it will change your life. It is probably the major reason for all my introspection lately.

On day 25, my assignment was to list my ultimate end values, then put them in order of importance the way they are in my life right now (not how they should be). That is hard! Think about it. When you think of values, you might think about things like God, husband, children, a nice home, money, etc. But most of those are not ultimate values. For instance, I married my husband for love, security, and pleasure, among other things. I don’t find pleasure in cleaning the home, but I do it because it makes my husband happy, and his happiness translates into pleasure and love for me. Listing ultimate end values is a lot harder than listing the things we do every day and then putting them on a priority. This has to do with who we are as a person.

I just did it this morning. And I’m not liking who I am.

Thankfully, I don’t have to stay the way I am! Praise God!

But it has made me stop and take a look at why I do what I do. Why do I blog? Why do I spend as little time in the kitchen as I can? Why do I find myself telling my daughter, “Just a minute” 5 times when all she wants is for me to read a story? Not just looking at the behavior but at the underlying motive is, well, it’s painful, but it helps me understand who I really am, and what I need to change.

So speaking of blogging… I haven’t figured it out totally. What I do know is that until I figure out exactly what my goal is, I may not do a lot of blogging for a while. At least, not as much as I have been doing the last couple of weeks. I want this blog to glorify God, and it can’t if I put it ahead of the more important things in life, such as my relationship with God, my children, and my health.

Recently I posted a survey about my blog, then made it “sticky” so that it would be at the top of the page. I only had one entry, and the answers really made me think, because I wasn’t posting much of what that reader wanted to see most here. I wish I had had more (it’s still open, by the way), but it did give me food for thought.

So what about you? What are your ultimate goals and values in life? What drives you? Think about it, and feel free to share if you wish.

Remember how I was sick for a week and still had to do (nearly) everything that I would do when I’m not sick—but slower, leaving me with precious little free time to actually rest? Well, now that my husband is home for the weekend (this was written last Saturday), it would be nice for him to be able to help out. I’m still sick, after all, and it would be nice to be able to rest a little.

Fat chance. My husband is now sick. He seemed fine at lunch, but then he went for a nap shortly after lunch. Usually he goes for a walk first or at least waits an hour or so for his lunch to settle—not today. I was looking forward to a nap, but figured I’d let him take his first, since he seemed to be settled down for one by the time I finished cleaning up after lunch. After a couple of hours, he still wasn’t up, but I was ready to go lay down. Gislaine was already playing outside, so I took Manny, whom I had been watching, and put him down beside Daddy, saying, “It’s my turn for a nap,” and went to bed.

Well, I never really got any sleep. I remember dreaming about lifting my foot to go up the stairs, but not high enough, and I stubbed my toe on the step, effectively waking myself up (don’t you hate those kinds of dreams!). Then the kids were running riot downstairs. So I didn’t really get much of a nap.

When I finally gave up and came downstairs, my husband was still zoned out on the reclining deck chair where I’d left him. I asked if he’d rested. He said, “Not much. I don’t feel well.”

So now imagine my thoughts. I’m sure you’ve been there, especially if you’re a mother.

I’ve been sick all week, but I still did about 90% of what I normally would do. I mean, sure I didn’t clean all the bathrooms—just the toilets—but at least I got meals out on time and changed diapers and did all the laundry—and then some, when Gislaine’s pull-up leaked. . . It’s not fair! Now that he’s sick, he gets to lounge around all day, without a care in the world, while I, still sick—and probably no less sick than he is—have to keep going. It’s not fair!

Well, that’s how they started to go, anyhow. But the Lord stopped me. Lisa, He reminded gently, remember that your husband gets migraines when he’s sick. When he gets sick, he usually gets a migraine to go with it, and that’s way worse than what you’ve gone through. For some reason, he doesn’t always tell me when he has a migraine, so I’m not sure if he does yet or if he just feels tired. [Note from the following day: Not only did he have a migraine, but when I went to bed, he had a fever of 104.7! That’s way worse than I ever dealt with! But I didn’t know that when I wrote this.] I consider how he was up just as late as I was before I got sick, and that my coughing the last few nights has kept him from sleeping well. I also remember how when he would come home from work, I would finish getting the kids fed, lay out pajamas or whatever, and go take a hydrotherapy hot-and-cold shower, and go to bed. Or just simply go to bed. As early as 8:15. Meaning he had to do the supper dishes and put the kids to bed (neither of which is easy), and then do anything that he would normally do in the precious little time he had after coming home between 7:30 and 8:00, as he does every night. Bless his heart! He never complained. At least not to me.

So why should I complain? I am on the mend, after all. I made sure to rinse the dishes, mostly, so actually washing them will be a cinch once the sun goes down (because I just can’t get out of the habit of not washing dishes during the Sabbath—especially now that I don’t live in cockroach paradise!—and because the dishwasher that came with the house is not working). Then I’m going to bed. Probably by 9:30. That should be our bedtime, but before getting sick, I may have only gotten to bed by then once since we moved, and very seldom before that. “Schedule” seems to be a dirty word in our house—or at best an ignored one. But let’s not go there. I’m still praying about that issue!

So instead of complaining to my husband about how I have to work while I’m sick, but he gets to be lazy, I made him a green drink of mullen leaves, kale, and a little pineapple juice. I should have put garlic in it, but I didn’t. That’s okay. He drank it. I’ll find out what he thinks of it later. I’m glad he wasn’t sick while I was, or I would have had to do the supper dishes the next morning—not fun! And I’m thankful that he has a strong immune system. He’ll probably be all better in a few days.

But just to draw out a lesson. Our thoughts affect our emotions. If I had given in to those first negative thoughts a few hours ago, I would be pretty miserable by now, and resentful of my husband. Instead, I’m thankful for the man I married, and I hope he gets better soon!

Last week I posted an article by L. Elizabeth Krueger of Raising Godly Tomatoes called Teaching Children to Be Helpful.This week I want to share the second part of that section of her website. The topics were posted on the same page, but since they are two very different topics, I wanted to share them separately. I am by no means suggesting that the following method is the only right method of teaching financial responsibility, and I do not think the author would either. This is what they do. My kids are still too young to understand money yet, and I don’t know how we will handle it when the time comes. I share this for your consideration, and would appreciate your feedback.

By nikkinoguer on Flickr

None of our children have ever been told they had to work to earn their “own” money. We never gave allowances either. Actually, they really don’t have their “own” money period. I don’t have my “own” money either. All our money belongs to all of us. Yes, my husband and I are in authority ultimately, so we control the money to an extent with the younger children, but as our children get older, that authority (to handle money) is turned over to them more and more. For example, the younger ones may get a few dollars for their birthdays that they are allowed to keep in their drawers, but if I need it to buy a birthday card or whatever, then they gladly donate it to the cause. Later, if they need new pencils or a notebook, I give them money to buy it and don’t make them take it from money they’ve saved. With the older kids, we give them money as needed and sometimes a little extra in case of emergencies. As they get older, we are less and less controlling about this, and don’t really keep track of what they have or don’t have. They are never allowed to just spend money for anything they please. They are always taught to spend wisely. That’s a prerequisite. This method will not work unless you teach your child to be good steward and spend wisely.

I often borrow from the kids to pay the music teachers and may or may not pay it back. If the kids do jobs for the neighbors, they do not accept money. Same if they baby-sit for a relative or something similar. Occasionally if they do a bigger job (like watch the neighbor’s dog for 2 weeks while they are on vacation), then they are allowed to accept payment, and they don’t have to share it with the family, but yet they can’t spend it on just any old thing either. We teach all our children to spend wisely from the time they are small.

So far this method (which I haven’t explained very well) has produced very fiscally responsible teens and young adults. Our 21yo is doing very well at managing his own internet business, our 19yo does all my shopping and does a better job than I do. Our 17yo does all my personal bookkeeping, including paying my bills and balancing my checkbook and even keeping me supplied with cash as needed. All three of our oldest kids have their own credit cards which are on our account, and we can trust them not to abuse them. I never have to even check on their spending because I can see that they are handling money very well. They keep the family cars full of gas and they take on many of the family responsibilities (like car repairs) that most parents do instead.

I should add that our oldest 2 boys now work at my husband’s office and are paid a salary (for bookkeeping reasons) which they just put right in the bank and we continue on as before. We’re not sure what this money will go for, but at this point it doesn’t matter. If they needed it individually it would be there, and if the family needed it for something, it would be there. This is part of the family farm concept.

Proverbs 17:17 – ” A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (TLB)