Should I Apologize?

I love this poem, because I am an apologizer!! It's easy to forget that us Mums are all the same in one way. We all find it difficult to keep our houses as clean and tidy as we would like them.

I stopped in unexpectedly to visit her that day.
She had been ill, and needed help, but strength was on the way.

To me her house looked clean and neat, without a speck of dirt,
Things in place in every room, she well had done her work.

"I need to sweep today," she said, "My house needs cleaning up.
I haven't swept this week at all. My kitchen I must mop."

We passed her garden on the way to fetch her children in.
"Don't even look," she said to me, "The weeds I cannot win."

But I did look, and saw how nice it was and free from weeds,
It seemed as though she kept it hoed and gave no chance to seeds.

"My lawn needs mowing," then she said, "The grass is growing fast,
With all this rain we're havin, a mowing just won't last."

I thought it too, looked very nice. The grass was not so long.
I could not understand why she thought anything was wrong.

Dear friend, how does this look to God? Apologizing thus
For things when they are not so bad; why do we make a fuss?

About the things that are a bit messed up or out of place, 
As smudgy windows on the door made by a toddler's face.

Is it not pride? Now don't you think? when someone comes to us,
And we begin to right away, make such untimely fuss?

Our God does not want us to be slothful or unkept,
But He, too, understands how soon the dirt comes once we've swept.

'Tis no disgrace when we are busy with growing children, too,
To have one come into our house, and find at times a stew.

'Tis better far to take some time to guide our children right
Than to have everything in place, and all the dirt from sight.

So when you think, "Oh, no! Not now! When one knocks on your door,
Never mind, don't say a word, about things on the floor.

For pride would have you 'polgize. Humility would not.
So may you an example be and lack this virtue not.
Sel. from Harvest Call


Choosing Contentment

Contentment is possible no matter what situation we are in.
 I am still learning to be content in the situation that I am in. To be honest, I naturally resent spending months trying to teach my 18 month old the basic skills that my other children learned all by their selves much quicker! 
Don't worry--I love my sweet, happy little girl to bits, but I do find her disability difficult.
But I am choosing to 'choose contentment'.

My five year old chose a Keys for Kids story thismorning at breakfast for me to read. I'm not sure if she understood the message in it, but it was perfect for me. The story was about how we should enjoy serving.
Some of the last words in the story were
"We often complain about the tasks the Lord gives us, as though He were punishing us. But if we really believe that He loves us, we'll accept those tasks as privileges instead of punishments."

We can learn to be content in every situation we are in because we can do all things through Christ. The two verses in Philippians 4 go together.  Maybe the previous verses in that chapter are also hints. Rejoice in the Lord always, Don't be anxious about anything but pray about everything with thanksgiving and Think on true, pure etc. things. (Read Philippians 4 for the exact verses.)

Choose Contentment


Potato Fritters

This recipe is a good way to use up leftover mashed potato and the kids love them!

Mix equal amounts of mashed potatoes and flour. Add 1tsp baking powder and 1 egg. This is the basic recipe.
 I like to add chopped bacon/ham/salami, parsley, cheese, chicken stock, paprika, salt and pepper etc. to give it flavour.
Roll into balls and fry on both sides till well browned. Enjoy.


A Prayer for a Fresh Perspective

It's so easy to focus on the difficulties and forget all our beautiful blessings! After writing down about 50 of my blessings, I feel a lot better!


Sanity, Stress and Energy Savers

I wrote this list for myself because I am very good at wearing myself out! I want to prevent myself from doing that so we don't all have to suffer from it!

1) Get outside.
I'm an outside person but there is always lots to do inside. I need to make it a priority to get outside often enough so I don't get cabin fever!

2)Don't compare yourself to others.
I don't even know anybody else in the same shoes as me, so I shouldn't compare myself to other mums I know.

3)Do as many jobs early in the day if possible.
Usually I have more energy in the morning so it's good to get as many of the physical jobs done then.

4)Prioritize--don't start doing extra jobs before the basics are done.
I'm a bad one at this. I see something I want done and get stuck into it....even though I haven't even washed the breakfast dishes or made my bed yet! Then when I've run out of energy, the important jobs still need doing.

5) Rest when your children are resting.
Don't feel guilty about getting rest. Looking after children and keeping up with everything is very tiring.

6)Eat healthy and enough.
Eat food that gives you strength and energy. Look after your body.

7)Be self-controlled with computer time.

8)Have quiet times.
I'm not very noise tolerant, so this is important for me.   Have some time if possible when there is complete silence. That way you might cope better with all the noise of your family--you know, the constant "Mummy, Mummy", singing, humming and questions.

9)Find things that relax you.
Candles, hot drinks, peaceful music, gardening, art, singing, reading etc.

10)Don't try and do too much in one day.

11)Take time to enjoy things.
The beauty of God's Creation, time with your husband, the cuteness of your children... 

12)Keep on top of mess.
Mess irritates me. So keeping on top of it throughout the day and getting the children to put things away after them helps prevent me from getting overwhelmed and irritable. 

13)Listen to your body.
Don't push yourself unnecessarily. One of the last times I wore myself out, I had felt very tired during the day. Instead of taking it easy and resting, I pushed myself to do what I wanted to do. I paid for it at the end of the day! 

14) Ask God for help often.
You need it! There are times I've been overwhelmed with lots to do and I've prayed for help. And then my children have played so well together and not needed me, so I could catch up on what needed doing.

15) Make some time to read God's Word.
What food is to our bodies, the Bible is to our souls.

16)Note what things wear you out and be careful.
I know what things wear me out, so I am careful. For example, I don't mow all the lawns in one go and I don't have a whole day of baking/cooking!

17) Don't sweat the little things!
Some things just don't matter. It's more to important to have a sense of humor and spend time with our children and husband.


Call unto Me...

This week has been a busy week. A week when you keep up with the basics but that's about it. The list on my 'extra jobs' list kept growing and I was thinking about how nice it would be to have some time without the children just to focus on getting a few jobs done without neglecting them. I was praying about this, but thinking that it wasn't possible anyway. I thought I would just have to be patient and work on them when I had time. About an hour later I was reading in bed and my husband walked in. "I've been thinking... that I might take Joseph and Esther with me for the day on Friday." He needed to travel to Wellington (11/2hrs away) to do a few jobs and thought he could spend some time with the kids at the same time. He then decided they could leave extra early and have breakfast together on the way.
Wow! Talk about blowing me away!
Don't you just love how sometimes God answers your prayer above what you even think possible!