Saturday, January 17, 2015

Community Service 101

Homeschooling creates opportunities for me and my children that a public education would not (or not as easily).  A couple months ago I decided to pursue (more diligently) opportunities to cultivate compassion in the hearts of my children. Its not mad science, children are not born compassionate creatures.  Compassion must be taught and learned. I desire my children to be compassionate. More is taught through seeing than hearing, and even more so through DOING. 

In November our church presented the opportunity to to deliver food baskets. Brett and I agreed this would be a fun family adventure (nothing more, nothing less) but this is where the idea was born. My children were able to see and do.  They were able to see what "being the hands and feet of Jesus" is. Our Pastor closes Sunday service with "Let's go be the hands and feet of Jesus." Hearing this is not foreign to them.  As part of their school routine I decided to implement a community service project once a month.  My goal was to create opportunity for them to be a blessing to others and learn compassion. I trusted the Lord to provide safe, fun, secure, outreach projects that me and my children could do together. 

December came and went so fast that, well honestly, it just didn't happen. But God was working because it was during that time I was at Standing Stone (a local community center that aims to provide assistance to families and individuals in need of food, clothing, households etc, ran by Ms. Dawn) searching the books, like I do every month, that an opportunity was born.  My kids love going to Standing Stone and they love books.  I asked Ms. Dawn if she would be ok with us coming and donating our time to Standing Stone. She happily agreed and I was so thankful.

Yesterday was our first day. We were going to arrange, sort and organize books. We started here at home. Heart check. I wanted to make sure our hearts were in the right place.  No boasting, no doing it to puff ourselves up or to make us look good, or to get something etc. I sat my children down and I asked them, "We are going to be a blessing, so how should our attitudes be? Why are we going to help Ms. Dawn?" I was blown away by their answers!  Eli said, "to give God glory, and we should be happy."  Zahavah said, "to help Ms. Dawn and love others, be cheerful."  None of it was prompted or talked about before we sat down, not in relation to this project. Sure we talk often about why we help others, but I didn't "get," that they GET IT until we sat and did a heart check before we left. Note to self...Always do heart check, especially my own.

Life and its opportunities are not cookie cutter perfect, not by a long shot. We had a great time helping Ms. Dawn, but I learned a lot too.  I learned that cultivating compassion takes time and patience. Both of my children did great, but attention spans are short. Little Miss. Z just couldn't handle more than an hour, she was DONE. She got tired and her spirit changed. It was ok, really. She is young and needed a break. I'm confident she will grow. I'm confident she will work through being ok with the books toppling over and not staying up as she would like. What a great place to handle such frustrations! And I'm their to guide her, offer a break and grace. God is molding her! Eli was in heaven. He is just like his Momma...loves books, arranging, long as they are not his own! :)  He didn't want to leave, he wanted to stay and come back every week. He was in his soft sweet spot, a place that feels so comfortable and peaceful time flies by too quickly.

I thank God for these opportunities.  I thank God that I am their Momma. I thank God that I am there and can steer them in the right direction and present them with moments of grace and discipline. I love being their Mom, their helper, their encourager.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

8 yrs ago today...

Its January 5th, 2007 6pm in the evening.  My dear friend Elisha Houk-Farmer is shooting some fantastic pictures of me and my fantastically huge belly.  I'm due any day, a boy!  I always dreamed of having a son. Elisha knows how to work magic, she is draping me, turning me, adding Brett into a couple shots.  You wouldn't know it, but this is her FIRST pregnancy shoot.  I talked her into it because I wanted these pictures so bad...and I trusted Elisha to deliver something beautiful.  This wouldn't be the last family photo shoot with Elisha, but it would be the last one with me in labor! She noticed my face turning red, and asked if I was ok.  Sure!  I was having a blast.  Who knew you could be in labor and have a great time shooting pics?  She was more concerned about me than the pictures...gasp!  :)  I insisted I was fine and that we keep shooting.  Three hours later we finished the shoot and I told Brett that we were indeed in labor.  He panics a bit.  Hustles and bustles about and we head to Champaign.  Its close to midnight. I think.  We are so relieved that we got the pics taken. We let Elisha know we were on our way to the hospital, we all laughed a bit. And then it all starts to happen so fast. Its so exciting...the arrival of a precious fragile life. Hand knit by God with the best parts of me, and the best parts of Brett and the wonder of our Majestic creator.
He is beautiful.  Every finger and toe accounted for. And his Daddy's earlobes...I love those ears. The perfect all natural birth, made possible by our fantastic midwife. Its in those moments...when everything collides into perfection, hand orchestrated only by our heavenly Father that I rejoice in his faithfulness.  He is so good to us.  We truly are blessed beyond measure.  HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY ELI DANIEL FREY!

January 6th, 2007 at 2:11am
7 pounds 8 oz.  19.5 inches long.
Midwife: Cathy Hinton

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!!

I have managed to post at least once a month for a few consecutive months!  Bravo! (rolls eyes).  Ok on to more important matters.  A few of my friends are really great about setting goals for the new year. Two years ago I started taking it a bit more serious.  I was in the midst of a recovery program for childhood trauma issues and wanted to make some serious permanent changes in my life. Unfortunately 2013 goals were not written down (well, I'm sure they were...but no where to be found now), but I do remember that I finished the intense recovery group that I was in and found some healing from some deep wounds, I also read the Bible from cover to cover and I started making some different choices.  One of those choices was to live life intentionally and live in the today.  Setting goals, no matter how big or small helps me live life intentionally.  It keeps me focused, less "SQUIRREL" moments.  In 2014...
1.  I became more patient...this was on my list and my children claim that I have indeed done so, but honestly I don't think I can agree with them.
2.  I definitely read more.  In 2013 I read one book a month which is huge for me, 2014 was pretty good too.
3. Got a mentor!  God given blessing!
4.  I hoped to get more Eli intiated hugs and kisses and I DID!!!!!

Out with the old and in with the new!!!!

I have used my friend's format that she adopted from Money Savings Mom...

My 12 Goals for 2015


  • Date night at least once a month
  • Encourage & build Brett up more
  • Commit to our devotional every morning together
  • Read more with them
  • Learn to whisper
  • Date more
  • Perhaps plan a wedding
  • Complete a pin (pinterest) one a month...anything recipe, craft etc.
  • Run 5-5Ks (very ambitious)
  • Be encouraging to my friends
  • Reach out and help a family in need
  • Take a class to learn something new (art, dance, etc)
  • Get out of debt, we were completely debt free (minus house) and then we got a new van...grrrr.
  • Live intentionally with the mindset LESS IS MORE, I'm a bargain addict.  No matter how great the bargain, its still $ I'm spending and STUFF I don't need.