It will be OK if my kids don't brush their teeth again until I get back. Let it go.
(Note to kids: just because I'm letting go of that one doesn't give you a free pass to stinky breath all week!) :)
...of my week:
The freezer has 6 meals in it already; just a few more to go.
The house is clean; just some deep cleaning and organizing that I'd like to do to cover up our pigsty lifestyle to my in-laws (like they don't already know!).
My personal bag items are laying on the floor next to my bed waiting to be packed. My lists are made for the rest of the luggage.
My calendar is noted and detailed.
The chore lists have been newly printed and gone over.
I asked Alex to be sure to wash Eric's jeans halfway through the week so he doesn't run out of clean jeans.
The grocery list for next weekend is made so all I have to do is buy the food on pay day.
School planners have been updated and I assigned work through the end of March.
Even my PRAYERS have been lists.
I've read the 43 page document from Word Made Flesh to prepare us for what's to come.
Only I'm not sure there's any way to prepare us. And while reading about the work in Sierra Leone I felt so humbled. I felt unequipped for what is coming. I've been asking God why on earth he'd pick me to go work with an awesome team like WMF.
And as I was questioning why I am going on this trip it made me stop and think. My lists are made, some of it is checked off, some of it is still floating around in my head formulating it's way onto my list.
I stopped dead in my tracks and my heart caught up with my mind and pleaded it to stop. Stop "doing" and "preparing" in my American, fast-paced, Martha way and listen, learn and prepare my spirit much like Mary when she sat at Jesus' feet.
I live in a society where "time is money" but I'm heading to a culture where "time is relationships". My heart truly desires to over rule my mind and adapt to this change.
I'm hoping to make Martha move over this week and let Mary take over.
This post has been brewing in my heart and mind for a few days. This afternoon while I was getting ready for small group the blog title for this post came to me and the overwhelming sense that I need to get rid of my Martha syndrome.
What's crazy is that I just read Cassie's blog and she posted something very similar.
One week count down to Africa!
There is much to do before I sleep.
But not much desire to do any of it. :)
Eric lightly broke the news to me that he may have to go to Germany in the next 2 weeks. For sure he's going to Michigan next week. Um, yeah, I told his boss where to stick it. (ok, kidding)
But in reality I did tally in my head everything that I needed him for before I leave and figured we could work it out (because mainly I need him for my sanity to get everything accomplished but who really needs sanity anyway?).
It makes me a bit anxious...but good for the prayer life, right?
I got happy mail today (thanks Shana babe!).
My kids ate lunch at 2:30 pm via free valentine coupons from McDonald's.
I'm hoping Eric arrives home before midnight tonight so we can take ONE night to do nothing together. I'm also hoping I can ignore my to do list and relax.
The grocery store is calling my name and so is the Y but then again, so is my bed. Nap time? :)
The girls are on Season 8 of Little House on the Prairie and they were wondering if I could make them some bonnets in my spare time today. Oh how I wished I could just not sleep some days.
Jake got three 300 page books from the library yesterday at 5 pm. He was gone for 2 hours last night but somehow has finished all three and still done his school work today. Oh I wished I was 13. :)
Once a month the kids and I get to go to the food pantry here in town and volunteer. Today was our day and I cannot tell you how many times I teared up or was so in awe of seeing Jesus' hands and feet by the workers that are there every week.
For one, they are so organized. Two, they love people and it SHOWS. Three, they pray through the good and the bad. It is an awesome atmosphere to be amidst. You arrive dragging and leave inspired.
The first time you volunteer you go through an orientation. There, the co-coordinator walks you through the history of the food pantry and the people they often serve.
Today I was overhearing the orientation as the girls and I were opening packs of whole chickens and dividing them into individual bags to hand out. I heard the part that makes me cry every time. It's the part where we shouldn't judge people who come for food. That we may see them drive up in a nice car or dress nicely but they may not know where their next meal is coming from. In today's economy so many are unemployed who never thought they would be and they are humbled to come for food.
It stops me dead in my tracks when I hear it because that was us last year at this time. Only we were too prideful to really say we were low on food. And then God would work through someone and leave bags of groceries on our door step. Or someone would send humongo Dillons grocery gift certificates through certified mail so they could remain anonymous and God would get the glory.
The food pantry was founded on these verses:
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
I love days like these where God reminds me of His blessings and reminds me never to forget. And, a reminder to me that so often we go "volunteer" because we think we are helping people but in the end we are the ones who are helped.
On the way to the Y the other day I said to the girls, "I might run if there aren't many people there."
We pulled into the parking lot and saw a lot of cars. I said, "Yeah, maybe not going to run today."
Lucy says, "Mom! Well what if the people here haven't had a good laugh in a while? You have to run!"
Gee, thanks Lu.
So we go in, the little girls go off to lift weights and Al goes with me and gets on an elliptical beside my treadmill.
I say to her, "I wish they had treadmills inside the locker rooms where you could hide and run."
I'm warming up with a brisk walk and she looks over at me and gives me the look as in aren't you going to run??? Kids don't understand "warm up". I should be running full speed already.
So I run 3 min on, 3 min off. Alex totally is into her workout and doesn't see me so she looks over at me and says, "I thought you were going to run?"
I just did, silly. I'm on the "off" part. Pay attention!
By this time I am pretty annoyed. I was just finishing my 3 min off - walking - and speed up the belt to run.
She smiles and says, "THAT's running?"
uh YEAH. It is.
I ignore her. She's making fun.
About 25 minutes into the 3 min on, 3 min off thing Lucy an Beth are finished with weights and decide to come over to me and talk to me when I'm running.
Lucy is whiny because she wants to go. Beth is just checking in.
After Lucy has been back to distract my focus several times I decide enough running for one day. 35 min of on and off. And I can no longer talk to my distracting children about their heeby geebies they suddenly have now that I am on the treadmill.
I skooch over to the elliptical to finish my workout so I can talk to the kids without feeling like I might die. Lucy comes back 3 more times. Her head hurts and she doesn't feel good. (don't worry. I'm not really being a bad mom when I sluff this off because she says this every time she is bored).
I'm severely irritated at this point but I just keep smiling and telling her to go back to the couches and hang for a little while longer and I'll be ready soon.
I finished my workout. But somehow I felt more exasperated when I left rather than refreshed.
I will never be a runner but by golly I will finish the 5K in April - even if they haul me through the finish line on a stretcher. :)
And now I have the flu! Or a touch of it at least. Yuck!
But I am so glad that I will get this out of my system before we leave for Africa in 12 days!
The girls are all coughing a ton but on the bright side they took cough medicine and went to bed...some even on their own!
I am cooking double every night to put meals in the freezer for my family.
We are trying to get everyone caught up and ahead in school so they can take the week off while I'm gone. It just doesn't work when I'm not here.
We head to Colorado a few days after I return from Sierra Leone so I am prepared to hit the ground running with school March 9. :) (ha!)
Eric has corporate people in tomorrow and Friday and has been fighting deadlines to be ready for their visit. We haven't seen him much this week. He's still at work and it's 10:46 pm. He left at 6 am and we took him lunch so he could work through. I'm so thankful this doesn't happen every week. But since his trip to Liberia he has been swamped.
I think I'm bugging the stuffing out of my case worker at Senator Brownback's office. If anyone has time to pray, please pray for a dear family who is awaiting visas to be reunited after 5 long years. So far injustice has been wreaking havoc and delaying their issuance.
Small group at our house this weekend. What was I thinking?
We have had something every night for the last 3 weeks. I'm tired and ready for nothing to happen for a while. Doesn't look like that is a possibility.
Maybe that's why God sends the flu? :)
Oh, I hear the door! Yay for adults entering the house!!!