Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

Ms. Quality Time...the brains behind the whole thing.

Little Man and Tenderheart in the "bunk bed".
 As a kid, summer was far and away my favorite time of year...no school, staying up later, sleeping in, playing outside, Kool-aid and popsicles every day!  We do not live in a neighborhood like mine was growing up.  There are not kids on our street for my children to ride bikes with or go to the creek with (nor is there a creek to go to) or play kick ball with.  My children have each other, and that's it.  That doesn't stop there fun though.  They are staying up later (too much later for me!), sleeping later (I love waking up at 9:00!), playing outside, coming in only when it thunders or they need Kool-aid or popsicles.  I limit their sugary things most of the time, but I figure they're burning it all off outside in the summertime.  This past weekend, the kids decided they wanted to build a teepee.  It didn't work well, so they recruited Daddy for help.  It didn't make it to Monday.  They had taken scrap fabric outside to cover it on Monday after breakfast, only to discover that it had fallen since Saturday.  BruCrewDad and I had given them permission to take fabric out and cover it.  BruCrewDad said, "Take it and be creative!"  They decided to take his advice and make do.  Here's what they came up with. 
Smiley in the "swing".

Monday, June 13, 2011

God Still Owns Tomorrow

Procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand.  They are the two sides of a dual-edged sword which frequently attacks me.  The perfectionist in me wants everything, and I mean everything to be just so, and since it rarely can be, because, let's be honest, I can only do a handful of things really well, I just put off doing what I can't do to my perfectionistic satisfaction.  What a miserable way to live!  My closest friends would be the first to tell you that I have a HUGE tendency to do things big or not at all.  They are helping me find middle ground. 

My perfectionism also causes me to plan, tremendously plan (not like my mom plans, much to her dismay).   As a homeschool mom, school has to be planned, but I started planning the 2011-2012 school year in March of 2011.  We weren't even done with the 2010-2011 school year yet!  I wasn't planning it "officially" on paper, but my gears were turning way back in March.  I tried to stop them, but it didn't work well for me.  Some days, I was so busy planning things in my head, and sometimes on paper when it got to be too much for my head to contain, that I missed a large portion of the day I was in...planning almost 6 months in advance!  I know the old saying, "Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; today is a gift; that's why it's called the present."  It's easy to say.  It even sounds cutesy, but it's so common that it means nothing to me.  I recently read it worded differently however, and this time, it made me think.

I am slowly reading Let Me Be Woman by Elisabeth Elliot.  It is a collection of letters she wrote to her daughter.  So far, all of the ones I've read have been while her daughter was engaged.  They may all be that way, I'm not sure because I haven't finished it yet.  (I'm reading several books right now, as usual.)  One of the things that she shares with her daughter is that today is all we are responsible for, God still owns tomorrow.  Now, that sounds similar to the above saying, but at the same time, it is profoundly different. The above statement is all about you, your choices, and your responsibility to yourself.  Her statement is about God and our responsibility to Him.  If I'm thinking about today as a gift, I'm thinking about myself.  When I receive a gift, I can do whatever I want with it.  The giver has no say in how the gift is used, or even if it's returned.  (Come on, I know you've done it too!  We've all received gifts we didn't want or need.)  However, if I'm thinking about God owning my tomorrow and I'm borrowing today from Him, the way I treat borrowed things is different.  I am more careful with other people's things than I am my own.

Also, she's not really talking about worrying about tomorrow.  Jesus told us not to, and we shouldn't.  That's easy for me to say, because worry isn't my struggle.  What Elisabeth Elliot is talking about is living.  Is planning a sin?  No, I don't believe it is in and of itself, but what if your planning tomorrow keeps you from living today?  What if you put something off, saying, "Oh, I'll just do it tomorrow."  That's okay sometimes, but what if it's a habit?  Hmmm...now it's getting interesting.  God still owns tomorrow.  What if He chooses not to give it to us?  Did we live today, or are we planning to live tomorrow?  Were we responsible with today?  Did we do what we should have?  We truly are living on borrowed time.  Are we acting like it?

Please don't think that I have arrived at this yet.  God is just beginning to plant the seeds of this truth in my heart, but I think it's important.  Will you travel this road with me?  Can we live together on our borrowed time being responsible with what doesn't truly belong to us?