Home Education Sabbath and Rest Snapshots & Snippets Spiritual Growth

Snapshots & Snippets: Full to Overflowing

Welcome to “Snapshots and Snippets” … some musings and practical thoughts along with goodies from around the web to bless and encourage you.

 {Full, not Busy}

I do a lot of thinking about time and how to use it.  I have read some great books and subscribe to some wonderful blogs which help me refine my vision of what it means to “make the most of the time because the days are evil.”  One of the best things I ever did was to go through {repeatedly} a study called “Beating Busyness” which is put out by NavPress.  I ended up teaching that study after a bit.  I heard a new thought the other day, from a woman who has this business of simplification and following your passions down to a science, Tsh Oxenrider.  She said that she keeps her life full – intentionally full – but not busy.   These days we all share how busy we are.  The connotation is that we are being held at gun point to do more than we ought or would like.   The concept of “full” brings a different tone.  I resonated with that.  I have intentionally built in times of slowing and times of going.  I choose to serve, to reach, to work.  I also choose to rest, to retreat, to say the all important, “no” when it fits.  I wonder what your thoughts are about fullness and busyness, resting and choosing.

chairs to rest

 {Listen Up}

Last year a friend asked me how many books I thought we read in a year {not including spine textbooks which guide us in a subject}.  I didn’t go back through our schedules and count, but at a rough estimate – between history novels that supplement our learning in that subject, literature I read aloud and books my boys were reading independently – I said it was between 36 and 40, I’d imagine.  That’s good, but as you know, as home educating moms, we want more.  {Which can be a perilous craving, let me tell you.}  So, I’ve discovered the key to increasing our volume of books consumed this year.  It’s embarrassingly simple.  We listen to audiobooks.  This is not a brand new habit, but something we have amped up over the past year.  It started with my desire to occupy my youngest before he could read.  I got books on audio CDs from the library and he would play in his room while listening to stories like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.   We took the books we wanted to share on car rides.  Spare my vocal cords and if I were the passenger, I could even do something else while listening.   Now we have a book going in the car all the time.  We also bring that book inside on slow days so we can have it going while we sit or craft or do some chore that doesn’t take our brains away from the book.  We are cruising through books at a mind boggling pace.  I’d say our ability to read is at least tripled.  Give it a try – Audible, ChristianAudio or free through Librivox or the library.  If you want to know what we’re reading, check out my “What We’re Reading” page.

{A Place to Sort Things Out}

I have a mentor, mom in the faith, spiritual director or whatever you want to call her.  She has walked with me for almost 20 years as I have grown up in Jesus.  We have lived about 120 miles away from one another for over 14 years now.  I see her once a month when I am in LA for business.  She knows me.  She has prayed with me, prayed for me, shed tears as I wept, spoken deep truth and waited while God moved.  There are not words to describe the gift she is to me.  This past week, after our bumpy relationships in our household, I spent some time laying my heart on the table.  We do an open-heart surgery of sorts when we are together.  So much goodness and life comes as we dig into what is going on under the surface and put the focus back onto me and Jesus.  Me and Jesus.  Me and Jesus.  How often we are tempted to put our eyes elsewhere – on them, on it, on problems, on life.  Jesus says to fix our eyes on Him.  He calls and invites us to abide.  I’m so grateful for this recess in my life – my time with my mentor – to refocus on what is true and life-giving.  I reenter my life with clarity after time spent sharing and praying.

{Lunch Notes}

My sweet friend, Christine, and I were discussing how we love our families – not just “Oh, I love my family so much,” but the way we show that love.  Do we show it in ways they can feel it?  During this talk she said a friend of hers had started putting notes into her children’s and husband’s lunch boxes.  Okie dokie.  Done.  I sent a few {and just so you know I’ve missed some days too} and guess what, they kept them!  They each have a little stockpile of notes.  My guys are treasuring the words I say.  I tell them something short and sweet – what I’m looking forward to with them or what I see in them that I cherish.  Love notes at lunch.  Good stuff.

Burger and Fries

{Move that Body}

For some years I was a bit sedentary due to my sciatic nerve acting up and also, so I say, due to the fact that it is around a billion degrees out where I live in the summer months.  With temps that high, who needs exercise to sweat?  Not to mention I have a lifetime of compulsive/obsessive issues with food and working out.  God has done much for me in this area.  I do love to exercise, so I caved and joined a gym at the prompting of a friend in the middle of last year.  I love that it is open from 4am to 11pm – not that I’ve been there at either of those extreme hours, but the fact that I could … well, anyway.  I’ve been getting to a few Zumba classes each week just before supper time.  They don’t interfere with family time.  {That’s key}  Getting some movement in between a full day and our evening as a family gives me refreshment.  I also have been getting out at 6:15 two mornings a week to do the elliptical and circuit.  I love it!  What do you do to make sure you get some physical exercise worked into your routine? 

pittsburgh-gym-fitness-cleaning

{Goodies Around the Web}

This week I found something really interesting.  We are wired for stories – to hear them.  Funny thing, I was thinking about storytelling and how it works in us as the teller and listener.  Then I found this Tedtalk article.  Super interesting how our brains align with one another as we hear and tell stories.  God is magnificent, I say.

Speaking of being fit, my doctor gave me my physical a few weeks ago and talked about five pillars to health (gut health/nutrition, resistance training, staying hydrated, getting sleep and managing stress).  I am guilty of not getting enough sleep on occasion and his words renewed my resolve to have a bedtime and stick to it.  Guess what?  I’m not alone in sleep-deprivation.  Turns out a third of us are in this groggy boat together.  Starbucks will not be going out of business anytime soon, I see.

My blogging friend, Cheri Gregory, is an expert on overcoming perfectionism.  She speaks candidly and with humor about life in general.  I loved her post this week about “When Guilt Feels Safer than Grief.”  Good stuff.  Check her out.


 What’s on your mind this week?  Are you busy or full – or are you taking a well needed rest to refresh?  I love hearing from you here or on the Hearts Homeward Facebook page

Photo credits: Morguefile

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