The past few days I've been doing some planning. The last time I was away from my children was when I was in the hospital on bedrest during Samuel's pregnancy. And everyone survived. But survival was about it. :) We were away from home, living out of suitcases, and the goal of each day at the time was to have everyone clothed, fed, and some clean clothes/dishes ready for the next day.
What a difference it makes to be home. The children know the schedule, and through the years of them working along beside me, between the older ones, they can do most of what I do.
While I won't be home to formally "teach", I want them to continue to learn. I'm putting together daily assignment sheets...writing assignments, reading, math worksheets, art projects, etc...to keep them busy during their desk time each day.
Tonight, we talked about meals. I asked the oldest 3 to name for me what dishes they could prepare 100% on their own from shopping to serving to clean up.
French toast, Eggs and potatoes, Oatmeal and toast, Breakfast burritos, Ceral and milk
Ham or grilled chees sandwiches, Bean and Cheese Burritos, Cup of Noodles with bread
Beef stew and bread, Spaghetti and green beans, Tacos, Shepherds Pie, Baked Potatos
I think Daddy will be well fed while I'm gone.
Then we talked about my chores. Hna. Meche will be doing the ironing and helping with laundry. And they took the rest of my schedule and planned out who would make our bed, dress and change Samuel, mop, clean my bathroom, and file the papers.
While I know they will miss me as much as I will miss them, they are almost giddy with excitement over their responsibilites over the next couple of weeks.
And I'm so happy for them. It will be a time for them to give of themselves and it is more blessed to give than receive.
How true that is!
I have felt sooo happy the past few weeks. Why?
Because I got some things in my life right with the Lord. And I wake up each morning ready to serve the Lord by serving my family from dawn to as late as they need me and I'm just almost bubbling with joy.
As the children are growing and our family is working more and more together, I've had more time lately. I asked Daniel what I could do with that time; how I could help him more.
And he gave me my own route area to work for Sundays. Timothy and Elijah have had thier own routes for about a year. Some of the other young people in the church have been working other areas as well. So Alma (age 16) and I, my 3 daughters and little Samuel get dropped off each Saturday at 10 am to our area of town. We go door to door for about an hour and a half inviting people to church, passing out tracts, and sharing the gospel as often as we can. Sunday morning, we go back to their homes and tell them the bus is coming by to pick them up in a little bit and to get ready. Seven new children we invited came last week! And I was so happy!
He who has been forgiven much loveth much. That is so true. The Lord has forgiven me and I how much I love Him. Oh, I know it is not as much as I should, but to think that every little hardship or inconvinience that comes along each day is a grand opportunity to show love to my Lord gives sweetness to what was before bitter.
While the boys and I worked on lunch today, Beka kept the little ones busy with "school". She was so patient and kind; so fun and yet determined for them to learn; so quick to heap on praise for each of their accomplishments. She was so happy! She wasn't off playing or doing anything for herself right then. She was giving. Giving her time, attention, and love to the young ones, and allowing the older ones to get their jobs done eaiser. And everyone was so happy.
No, it's not always like this. We all mess up...a lot! But more and more, we are learning to be quick to forgive, slow to anger, and praise the Lord, we can start again afresh the instant our heart repents.
One of the sweetest times I have with my children is when I have to discipline them. The more consisitent I am, the less I have to do it. But foolishness is bound up in their little hearts, and when the times come that it needs to be driven out, afterwards, I hold them, sit them on my lap or next to me, pray with them, tell them how much the Lord and I love them, and then remind them of one of my favorite verses~ Lamentations 3:22-23...the Lord's mercies and compassions are new every morning. The sin's been taken care of and we have a clean slate. And how happy they are afterwards.
Oh, how I will miss these smiles. How I will miss their Daddy. But I think they will do much more than just survive this time.