Finding Beauty in the Daily Grind

When I started this blog in 2006, we were on the road for 6-9 months out of the year. I thought it would be great to write about our experiences and things I’ve learned along the way. But the Lord recently led us to start a church, and now for the past year, we’ve been stationary…even bought a house! Though I truly enjoy the extra room, there’s a lot about travelling that I miss. And a lot I’ve learned from being in one place. I’ve learned to find Beauty in the Daily Grind.

findingbeautyinthedailygrind

Finding Beauty in the Daily Grind

 

Sometimes I struggle with the fact that for now, we’re not travelling. It seems very odd to have The Courageous Journey living in one place now. After all, what’s so Courageous about being in one spot doing the same things over and over? We all miss traveling so very much, but we understand that right now it is God’s Will for us to be here in NC. So for now, The Courageous Journey is stationary.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt as though your Journey seems boring compared to someone else’s journey? I know it’s easy to feel that way, especially when we get bogged in the daily grind.

For me, it helps to remember:

1. God is a God of order. He has times and seasons for every activity. The sun rises very predictably every morning, and sets again in its appointed time at night. The seasons, each with their regular types of work, follow one behind the other in regular succession. And life itself follows a regular order – first we’re babies learning to crawl, then we get older, fall in love and have families. As sure as we’re alive, our children will one day have families of their own.

2. God sees beauty in the daily. No two sunrises are alike, and each sunset is painted with its own array of colors. Every spring, the flowers are different. No two are exactly alike, and even in the winter, God’s creative Hand designs each snowflake as a crowning glory of His handiwork. He creates and enjoys beauty in the daily round of life.

3. My life may be very predictable, but it can still be beautiful. Every morning, my meal plans can be an opportunity for my creativity and my knowledge of nutrition to meet together to be a blessing for my family. I can plan, create, and enjoy the works of my hands, knowing that I’ve done something for others. My constant rounds of laundry can be opportunities for me to pray over each person who wears that item. And doing the dishes can be a time to be thankful for all God’s amazing provision. (“What a wonderful meal You’ve provided, Lord, and Thank You for my man, who works so hard to provide this for us!”

The next time you’re tempted to be bored with your Journey, or compare it to someone else’s whose life seems so much more exciting, ask yourself these questions, “How can I find beauty in this job I have to do? How can I create something that I and others can enjoy?”

It doesn’t take travelling to be a Courageous Mom. It takes courage to do the same thing, day after day after dreary day…with a cheerful smile. It takes courage to daily give actions of love (see previous post) even when you don’t feel like it. It takes courage to get up early, when someone needs you during the night. It takes courage to get up and take care of the family, after going to bed at 2am because one of the young people finally opened up.

It takes Courage to find beauty in the daily.

Imagine what would happen in our homes – our whole world – if all of us lived a life of contentment, finding, creating and enjoying beauty in our daily Journeys.

What are some things that help you when you begin to get tired of your daily life?
Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Love Is An Action

How do you express love? Is love a feeling, or is it an action? Well, I’ll tell you what it’s not: it’s not the heart-pounding willies you see on Hollywood, nor is it the warm fuzzies. Here’s an old post from the archives that I thought would be very appropriate after Valentine’s Day. After all, we don’t stop loving just because Valentine’s Day is over, right?

LOVE IS AN ACTION BLOG BUTTON

Today I vacuumed my bedroom and bathroom. Unfortunately, our bathroom floor has carpet (nasty carpet, too – but it will soon be going!). Now, I seem to have a mental block to vacuuming those two room, so it can build up sometimes. But my husband really likes to have the floors looking nice, so I decided that, for him, I would try to keep them clean.

As I began vacuuming today, it occurred to me that perhaps love is an action verb, rather than a noun. We had always been taught at school that love is a noun – a thing that cannot be seen or felt, but a noun nonetheless. But it seems to me that the expression of love is one of the most important things in a relationship. To my husband, a clean floor is an expression of love. And so, to be a blessing to him, I did my best to vacuum our floor all nice and neat.

Many people think that love is a feeling. I used to think so myself. When I was young (younger??), I felt the goose-pimple rush of blushing infatuation just thinking about my dear hubby. Evenutally, however, that teeny-bopper feeling grew into a deeper commitment to respect, love, and be a blessing to him. I learned that love is not merely a feeling. Love is an action based on a decision. I decided, years ago, that I would love my husband. And these 22+ years, I have been expressing that love in a myriad of different ways, showing him that I love him. I sometimes have those gushy feelings of infatuation, but I have decided that I will love him with or without feelings through various loving actions. These little expressions of love keep our marriage going these many years.

Love is putting lego arms on tiny little lego bodies for my daughter. Love is getting up and making breakfast when I don’t feel like it. Love is trying to keep a clutter-free home so we can all enjoy it. Love is serving a cup of iced tea on a ninety degree day. Love is making a mess decorating Christmas cookies, even though I hate voluntarily making messes. And love is being willing to let your sweet daughter go, to be the wife of a godly young man and make a home for them both.

Love is serving. Love is selflessness. Love is sacrifice.

Love is an action.

What are some ways we can express love to our families?

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

10 No-Fail Ways to Raise a Brat

These 10 No-Fail Ways to Raise a Brat will either make you laugh or cry, or a little bit of both! This post in completely tongue-in-cheek, so don’t take it seriously!

10nofailwaystoraiseabratblogbuton

10 no-fail ways to raise a brat! Works every time!!

The other day my 10-year old son, The Rocket Boy, went to the grocery store with me. He loves pushing the cart, and pretends he’s a race-car squealing around corners and enjoying quick stops and starts. So far, we’ve not run over any grandmas, though I must confess we’ve come close, and I’ve had to take the wheel and give him a good talking to more than once.

Now there’s a brat in almost every store, but that day there was a first rate brat! I thought his antics were just incredible, and his mother played into his hands so well. It almost looked rehearsed…maybe they’ve done this act a time or two before.

It went like this:

We heard Payne (not his real name, but it fits quite well!) coming long before we saw him, and we heard his mother right behind. Her shrill cries of “Stop it!” and “Put that down!” could be heard all across the store. The real display of action came in the fruit and vegetable aisle. Payne had been grabbing everything in sight, but apparently his mother thought he had outgrown that thievish habit, so she pushed the cart gloomily down the aisle with Payne close behind, unobserved by her.

The showdown came when he grabbed two cucumbers. Now, tell me, what 3 year-old loves cucumbers? Well, Payne apparently wanted those cucumbers so badly, he had to have them! His mother turned saw him, and yelled, “Put those back!” at which point he hid them behind his back with a defiant expression. “I SAID, PUT THOSE BACK!” mother escalated. Payne didn’t budge. Mother knew it was time for battle, and she flew in and yanked those cucumbers right out of Payne’s hands, like a bully stealing a smaller bully’s loot. At this point, whatever she said was unintelligible, because Payne set up such a howl and wail that no one could hear himself think.

The Rocket Boy and I moved on into the frozen aisle, leaving the screaming fellow and his yelling mother back in F&V, but we kept tabs on his whereabouts by listening to his regular whines and shreiks and his mother’s shouts and yells. When we left, they were going at it at the checkout.

Isn’t it amazing how much energy two people will expend to prove who’s boss?

I got thinking about this encounter, and realizing that this is a serious brat in the making, folks!

OK. I think we can all learn how to raise a brat from Payne’s exhibition:

1. Always give him everything he wants.

2. Especially give him what he wants when you and he are in public. You don’t want to look bad by saying No, do you?

3. Yelling is great, and the more the better. It keeps the tension high and is sure to provoke screams and wails from your budding brat.

4. While you’re at it, smack him, but only when you’re good and mad. I’m not talking about a real action of discipline, which is needed sometimes – just a venting of anger. Now don’t you feel tough, that you can bully a little child around?

5. Make sure he gets plenty of sugar and even some red 40 – both are great for producing hyper kids and angry mothers – a perfect recipe for a brat!

6. And also don’t let him take a nap, even when he’s really exhausted. You know how you feel when you get tired – almost sick and very irritable. Well, it works the same with kids, so they’ll be sure to whine and cry for apparently no reason whatsoever, making you embarrassed and angry.

7. Worry more about what other people think than doing what is best for your child. That way, if your child really embarrasses you in public, you can get angrier than if you were at home. In fact, some of those same things are even cute at home, but you don’t want people to think you’re a bad mom, so go ahead and yell in public.

8. Make sure you change your expectations around, so he doesn’t know what you want. It’ll really make him into a brat if he thinks he can’t please you no matter what he does.

9. If your kid gets in trouble with the teacher, preacher, or Sunday School teacher, always defend him, even if he’s bitten Susie and bloodied the neighbor boy. Your poor child is just expressing himself – how could that be wrong? And once he sees that you don’t care about authority, watch out! Your authority will be his next mountain to climb!

10. Don’t pray for or with your children, or read the Bible to them. That might give them a moral compass, and you know true brats have none.

OK, how’s that for a list? Honestly, I’m just kidding! Please don’t try this at home and blame me, because you really will produce a horrible, terrible Monster!

You don’t want to raise a Payne!

Question: What are some other ways we as parents can raise a brat?

Special Announcements:

  • Check out my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right!

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Your Kids and Technology: Why You Should Be Involved

Today I want to deal with Your Kids and Technology. It’s so much a part of our lives, and it’s so very easy to get entangled in all that’s available on our devices. While there are many benefits to technology (I use it myself!) there are also many dangers. Your kids are probably pretty good at technology. That’s one of the big reasons you should be involved.

Your Kids and Technology: What You Should Know

 

We had just begun homeschooling our first child in the early 90s when we first heard of the internet. We heard through a fellow homeschooler that there was something called Prodigy that was like a research encylopedia in the computer. We eventually learned that Prodigy had their own building and their own team of people adding content.  We found the content helpful and interesting, but not very abundant.

Fast forward about 20 years, and we are now deep into the Information Age. There is so much available in cyberspace now that my husband even used YouTube daily during our house remodel!  Don’t know how to install a tile backsplash? Easy! Youtube it and find out! Kid has a fever and a rash? Ask one of the many forums. Have something you want to buy? there’\s Amazon, Ebay, and even Craigslist.

With Googling and youtubing, etc. we have a whole world available at our fingertips.

100 hours of video are being uploaded online every minute, with 2/3 of the videos being advertised as actual pornography. And in case you thought smart phones were safe, 43.8% of all porn viewing was on mobile devices (that’s according to the porn industry executives themselves.)

In this huge deluge of sexual content available, how can we possibly protect our family from temptation? 

1. Realize that realize that we live in a pornographic society. Unfortunately, it’s not IF your child will see pornography, it’s WHEN. This may be a scary realization for you, but it needent be. If you love your children and are involved in their lives, you have a much greater impact than even peers and internet. But…we must be proactive.

2. Understand the danger of “our own seperate world.” Young people need our involvement more than ever….while the temptation to spend large amounts of time riveted to our electronics has never been greater. Here we have the opportunity to die to self and care for another enough to truly get involved in their lives, to know what they’re doing and who they’re talking to, and whose websites they’re going to.

3. Recognize the danger of secrecy. Privacy creates the perfect soil for sin to flourish. Because of this, there must be a measure of accountability. Your child should feel free to talk to you about anything he sees on the internet that’s not appropriate. As a parent, you may feel shocked that he would see something wicked, but your response is critical. I’ve told my kids that if they come to me and tell me that they’ve seen something on the internet, I will not be mad at them, but praise them for being willing to tell me. Then, I can talk to them about why such things are inappropriate for young (and old!) eyes.

4. Realize the danger of deception. It’s easy a person to create an alter personality and pretend he’s another young person just to trap our children. Without the sense that comes from years of experience of life, a young person  – especially a vulnerable gullible female – can be lured in to a heartbreaking relationship. Your involvement in your children’s social media contacts is highly important.

In this age of technology, there are a lot of benefits, and there are a lot of things we need to be careful of as well. Your kids are involved in technology, therefore you should be involved as well.

Question: What are some other dangers of technology?

Special Announcements:

  • Check out my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right!

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum