The past month, we've all had spring fever. And now we all have summer fever! It feels like summer! I think we had 3 days over 100 degrees this week and the other days weren't cool.
I love summer! It means so many wonderful things...another school year over, extra time for projects/fun, my birthday, our anniversary, family camp, iced tea and lemonade, eating cold mangos on a fork in the shade, sleeping out on the trampoline, longer days, playing in the sprinklers, popsicles, watermelon...did I mention my birthday? :-)
And while we had a taste of summer this week and were tempted to just dive into it early, I reminded the children that to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. And that we need to be faithful and finish our course of this school year. So we've continued to plug away with open windows over our desks letting in the warm air (and flies and dust) and are just that much more excited to soon be reaching our goal. Those consumable school books are getting mighty thin! Such a good feeling of "completion." Yet the greatest part is just looking back.
Some days, it may seem nothing I am teaching is sinking in. Some days, it seems we go over and over the same thing to no avail. Some days, it seems we struggle with the same things...day after day. When, in the midst of those days, I look just at the problems, I can easily become discouraged.
But, with age and experience and many failures, I can now look beyond those times. I can look behind and before. And I can know that simple obedience to what God has called me to do as a wife and mother along with daily faithfulness, does bring forth fruit!
I love to look back over a school year as my heart fills with so much joy to see all each child has learned. And that "one" child who seems to "always" be in trouble and "will he ever learn?"...looking back a year or so, I can see how much he has grown and learned.
I always tell my children, while some days we may not feel like doing our studies/work/schedule, God just wants us to be faithful, be thankful, and do our best each day for Him. Then, when those special holidays do come or when summer finally arrives, those days are all the more special!
So while we've plugged away with our school and chores this week, we've enjoyed some fun, lazy afternoons too. We made cookies, more play dough, played games, played in the water, and I gave the children quite some entertainment as they tried to teach me how to ride their rip stick. I laughed so hard my side hurt...which was, by the way, my excuse as to why I couldn't stay on the thing. :-) Noah (6 yo) hops on it and glides as gracefully as can be. I think after my last lesson, I reached the level of my 4 yo.
This year's summer vacation will most likely be short lived. With all the traveling of furlough coming up, I am thinking it would be best to take a couple week break and then start back with our next year. The more we do this summer, the less we'll have to do while traveling. I expected more disappointment from everyone, but was pleasantly surprised! They are all so excited about all the places we'll be traveling to, the things we'll see and do, the people we'll get to be with, that they are happy to do anything to prepare for our time up north. So I'm thinking that if we can school 4 days a week until we leave, we'll have a good start at least. And we'll just keep planning special/fun things for those hot afternoon summer days.
Before I share some pictures from this week, I want to talk about a decision I made.
Quite a while ago, I got a facebook account. A friend of mine is a missionary over in Africa and she often posted pictures on facebook of her family and the ministry there, so I signed up so I could keep in touch with her.
I didn't really use facebook very much at that time. Quite frankly, I didn't really understand how the whole thing worked. I remember when somebody "poked" me and I was asked if I wanted to "poke them back". I still have no idea what that means. I didn't know what the difference was between a profile and a wall and when I was told "someone wrote on your wall", I naturally cringed as I've spent much time in my 14 years of parenting washing crayon/marker/pencil marks off walls.
Months went on and I'd check in every so often. I'd always have several friend requests and for some reason, I just had a hard time saying no to anyone. It seemed so cold to say, "No, you are not my 'friend'". So I accepted them all. I came in contact with people I'd not seen in years. I enjoyed hearing about their lives, seeing their families, and reconnecting. I finally understood basically how facebook worked now...putting up pictures for your friends to see, writing updates, commenting on your friends updates/pictures, writing on their walls etc...
Time when on, and checking facebook became a daily routine.
The past couple months, the Lord began to convict me about this area. And I had plenty of excuses as to why doing what He wanted me to do really wasn't necessary. I didn't spend that much time on it...only a few minutes usually a few times a day. It was a great way to keep in contact with people and pray for them/they for us. And I have some family members whom I love very much whom I want to show love to/build a relationship with, and facebook was the only way really in which they would communicate with me.
All good reasons, right? Of course, the Lord convicts, wants us to follow Him because it is always what is the very best for us, but He never makes us. It is our choice. I said I would pray about it. And it might sound silly to pray about something that in my heart, I already knew what the answer was, but what I asked the Lord was to not let me have peace or joy until I made the right decision.
Now, I still had my fb account for quite a while and I didn't feel like I was sad/moping around. But when I finally made the decision to delete my account, I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders! I felt so relieved, happy and free.
The past month, as I prayed, this is what the Lord brought to my heart.
I have chosen to limit my time on the computer as much as possible. They reason for this is pretty simple...I have man and a dozen children to love, care for, feed, spend time with, etc... Not to mention the responsibilities of caring for our home, working with our church/people here, home schooling. When I thought of where most of my computer time is spent, it was mostly emails, our blog, and facebook. I enjoy writing our blog and I love hand writing or emailing a personal letter to a friend. And with those two things, my computer time is filled. It was easy to think I would just go on fb to check for messages but then see something this person posted and then that person and before I knew it, way too much time had gone by. Something about the computer is that when I am on it, it has all my attention. It isn't really something that I can "do" with anyone. It isn't something that really involves anyone else. In fact, I have trouble paying attention to anything else when I'm deep in thought. So, while I need to be focused/paying attention most of the waking hours of my children and enjoy that as well...plus I do like to sleep :-), computer time is limited.
*Going house to house
The Lord has given me several people in my life to which He has called me to minister. He's given me my husband. He has given me my children. He's called us to minister here in our little town in Mexico where He has brought up a church...a body of believers who are growing together in the faith and reaching out to those around them. He's given me some dear family members/friends. One's whom love, care and pray for me and I for them.
And while I may spend most all of my time inside of my home, I can still "leave" without physically leaving. I Timothy 5:13 says "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; an not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."
Facebook made it easy to see everyone's business. In fact, blogs can do the same thing. They can take up precious time that the Lord has given us to do other things...to invest in the lives of those He's give to us. When making up our schedule each school year, I always remind myself that while there are many "good" things to spend my time on, the Lord has only given me 24 hours each day and I want those 24 hours to be used as He would have me to use them.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I found, more often than not, that the things I would read and see on fb did not fill my mind with things that were true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or good report.
Sometimes, things were posted on my wall that I would have to delete. And it saddened me that these things were posted there for all to see before I'd seen and removed them.
I was wasting time.
I have read many biographies of missionaries who lived years ago. They not only did not have fb...it would take months just for them to get a letter back to their home country. And the Lord worked so powerfully in their lives and ministries. They may not have had thousands of people praying for them, but I know God heard the prayers of those who did. And the prayer of a humble, righteous servant of the Lord all alone on his knees in the middle of a foreign land is a sweet fragrance to our God.
And finally, all of my true friends keep in touch with us through means other than facebook.
It might be "easier", but easier is not always better.
So I deleted my account last week. And I haven't missed it.
And now my hubby is home from preaching out in Zaragoza. :-) I love it when he gets home!
His birthday is this Saturday! And Saturday, all the teens in our church are inviting their unsaved friends over for dinner and to hear the gospel. And last night, we met for the first time in our new church building.
The Lord is so faithful and good!
Have a wonderful rest of the week in Him!