Bold Turquoise

May 25 2011

The why of it all…

Lately I have been talking a lot about all these challenges I’m doing and books I’m reading and thought perhaps I’m not making the “why” of it all very clear.  So, I thought I would spend a little time sharing with you just that.

What it really boils down to is a little conversation I had with Ann Voskamp last night on twitter (don’t you just love twitter?!  I actually haven’t been a fan in the past but have recently found blossoming friendships in this weird little world!  And I’m always a little tickled when a “big time” author or blogger, or both, replies to something I’ve said!  Last week it was Sally Clarkson, this week Ann- I’m smitten!).  Anyhow, I had been reading One Thousand Gifts, as I continue to slowly work through it, and this struck me…

…I know eucharisteo and the miracle.  But I am not a woman who ever lives the full knowing.  I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way, and still I forget.  I am beset with soul amnesia.  I empty of truth and need the refilling.  I need come again every day– bend, clutch, and remember- for who can gather the manna but once, hoarding, and store away sustenance in the mind for all the living?

Page 106- One Thousand Gifts (emphasis mine)

Which led me to post this…

To which she replied…

I had gotten out of the habit of daily gathering the manna- His Words.  The daily gathering is what can usher in the change I need, I long for, from the deep recesses of me but done by Him.  Two years of depression, being utterly stuck- unmotivated, uninspired, angry, broken, short, frustrated and lethargic, to name a few, can only be remedied by the daily work of getting up, going out and gathering the manna.  So first, I knew I needed to daily be in the Word, refill morning by morning, and that is why Jodi, Sarah and I started doing the Matthew Precept Upon Precept Study from Precepts for Life (Kay Arthur’s ministry, if that rings any bells).

But in order to make that truly happen, then I also knew that I needed to jump into Maximizing My Mornings or I would never have that quiet time to sit and ponder, pray, be still.  Many times, even if I did go to the manna my gathering was distracted by children and duties and to-do lists.  Saying “Hello” to my mornings is the only way for me to establish real consistency in this area.

Beyond even my quiet times, though, rising early (many mornings literally dragging myself out of bed repeating to myself, “…it’s worth it, it’s worth it…”) is changing so much more!  I am now starting to exercise, slowly but surely.  I am planning my days and sticking more strictly to our routine.  I am getting school done with Rhythm more effectively.  I am getting dinner on the table closer to “on time.”  I’m getting the boys to bed earlier.  I’m keeping up with the house better (31 Days to Clean and getting back to my own routine).  I see hope for change.  I’m feeling motivated.  My days are longer and more full.  I feel more up for outings and planning things for our summer.  Other than being ridiculously tired and having to really come to grips with my night-owlness, I really can’t find a down side.

Eventually I hope to work my way up to waking up somewhere in the hour of 5 (right now I am at about 6:30 and gaining momentum), which will hopefully allow me to not only get my quiet time, workout, and planning accomplished, but also blogging and working on my novel.  I once read an interview with Robin Jones Gunn in which she talked about getting up at 4am to write because she knew that if she was going to do it it couldn’t come at the sacrifice of her family- her primary job and top priority.  I aspire to be like her and truly get to that point where my childrens’ waking hours are fully devoted to our family and home, and not all these other distractions, no matter how much I adore them.

Another thing I am studying in the morning, but for the real purpose of moving beyond my mornings, is The Minsitry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  I have been reading this book for a while, slowly, but decided that the book club with Jolanthe as a part of the Good Morning Girls book study would be a better way to get more out of it, to really study it and mine out all it’s wonderful nuggets of wisdom.

Good Reason #1

Good Reason #2

I haven’t been happy with my mothering for the last two years.  My depression wore me down into a stump of a mother just working through our days to get to the next, and the next, and the next- that’s how I’ve felt anyway.  In my transformation this book is so helping me!  Viewing motherhood as a ministry, my ministry- my job to disciple these two little boys (so far), is motivation in itself.  Reading the scriptures on training and teaching and what is expected of me as a mother is humbling and instructional.  It gives me more purpose and drive.  It makes me long for those spiritual fruits in my life- kindness, self-control, gentleness, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness (I was just going to name a few, but then they all just sooooo apply!  I couldn’t help myself!).  I’m glad I’m reading it now, when they’re young, and I hope and pray to live up to the calling of this role.

And then there’s that daily thankfulness.  That moment to moment noticing of things to be grateful for.  The searching for 1000 Gifts.  The step that helps me carry my quiet morning moments throughout my whole day.  To remember Him and to look for Him and the blessings He’s given me.  More importantly, to take note of them- write them indelible for remembrance of His goodness and receiving a good measure of joy in the process.  It is a beautiful thing that can only achieve maximum impact when it becomes a daily part of living, woven from morning to night.  And so, I am daily trying to establish this habit along with the others.  I want to radiate joy- the absolute opposite of what I have been.

Then lastly, the overall, running thing that ties them all together is the fellowship.  Each and every one of these challenges has a fellowship aspect- an accountability to stay the course, not give up, share the struggles and triumphs and things that we’ve learned.  And I know that without this I would very likely fail on at least one, if not all accounts.  How do I know?  I’ve tried them all before!  It’s the gathering together of friends, new or old, that is the ticket to success.  Sharing with them in the process.  Participating in each others’ lives.  Encouraging.  Commiserating.

And, just in case you’re wondering, yes, I believe that online fellowship counts!  After all, many times we are able to weave our way more authentically throughout each others’ days via the silliest modes of communication, like facebook and twitter.  We are able to finish complete sentences and thoughts via email and blog posts.  We are able to glimpse into each other’s lives and return to those words when they are most needed.  I have been built up and held steadfast by the wonderful ladies I am fellowshiping with from far and near through these webs of media, and I savor each new and growing relationship in this realm.

By the end of summer I plan/hope to be a changed woman.  I will daily be in His word and growing from it.  I will be used to getting up early and will be ready to take on our first bon-a-fide year of homeschooling.  I will be maintaining my home and creating a beautiful atmosphere for my family to thrive in.  I will be missional with my childrens’ hearts and more sensitive to the impact I have on them.  I will be finding the gifts throughout all of my days.  I will have solid and growing relationships with a wonderful core group of like-minded women.  And I’ll be pregnant… hopefully. 🙂 But I guess that’s another story entirely and kinda out of my hands!

So, that’s what it’s all about.  What does your life look like right now?  Are you planning for any changes this summer?

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