Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fourty and Still Figuring It Out...and Christmas This Year

Do you ever wonder when the day will come that you finally have life figured out?

You'll wake up early in the morning and have a super workout, after which time you'll eat your wonderfully healthy breakfast and trot right into your day. 

You sit down to feast at the Lord's Table as you dig into His Word. It's rich and delicious, but you NEVER have all of it that you want! 

By 8am, you'll have all the laundry going, your bed made, the kids fed, devotions done, the dogs brushed, floors swept, and all of your special handmade birthday and thank you cards will be written and in the mailbox.

Then you'll start your homeschooling day, changing subjects exactly every 30 minutes, teaching the trivium, taking your daily nature walk, teaching your kids to journal, and making sure that they're at least 2 grade levels ahead of their public schooled peers so that YOU can prove to all that homeschooling is the end all be all.

Oops! I forgot...your homemade wheat bread is ready to take out of the oven, and you've baked enough loaves to have some leftover to sell at the farmer's market, where of COURSE you spend at least one day a week because your family has to eat everything in it's most raw state.

By noon, your children have been around the world in their geography lessons, aced their math lessons on the first tries, learned 20 new words out of the dictionary, and polished their latin and spanish.

Time to grab a quick lunch and get ready for all of your afternoon fun!

Piano lessons are first.
Then soccer practice.
Play practice.
Scout popcorn sales.
Exercise time at the YMCA.

Chores...of course you're teaching your child to do EVERYTHING around the house that you want them to be prepared for life, after all. (No mention of the fact that this apprenticing program makes your chores take 2/3 longer than they ever did before.)

Time to make dinner...Daddy will be home soon!

Rush, rush, rush....little Susie needs to do a lot of the work...she's being trained to be  a homemaker...gotta teach her everything! (Nevermind that she's 4.)

In comes Daddy, time for family hour around the table. 
Talk. Chew. Talk. Chew. Argue. Chew. Talk. Chew.

All during dinner, you're thinking about your beloved's been so long! You've got comments to attend to, and dangling conversations that you have simply abandoned because you've been so busy.

Now it's time to wash dishes, get little Johnnie ready for his shower (prepare for throwdown over the "to shower or not to shower" for that really is the question), and talk Susie Q into taking a shower instead of a tub bath so that both she and Johnnie can get ready for bed at the same time. (Otherwise Susie will dawdle until at least her 13th birthday!)

Two showers running at the same time will work.  One tub bath would drain all of the water from your hot water heater.  

Susie is ticked about missing out on a bath, so look forward to 2 hours of complaining over this!

Looking ahead at your week you have:
Homeschooling Full
Homeschool Co-Op (all day event)
Church - Midweek service, you haven't made ONE yet...
Horseback riding lessons
Bible study class
Errands day
Sabbath Saturday (if you're lucky!)
Church on Sunday - morning and evening

You look over your schedule, thrilled that there are SO MANY great opportunities for you and your children!

But, truth be known, you are wiped out!

And, as you review your week, your heart is pierced when you hear your child tell another adult...well, what we do during the week is....* rattle, rattle, rattle* 
and then Mom reads the Bible to us about twice a week.


TWO days a week?!


How did that happen?

How did the daily time in the Word together turn into 2 days?

And then you stop and is upside down.

It's all good. So very many of the opportunities are GOOD ones.


Oh, how I love that word.


A term of contrast. It might as well read, "STOP RIGHT HERE! Something REALLY important is coming up and you DO NOT want to miss it!"

But, if Susie and Johnnie and Mommy and Daddy are so busy with all the opportunities that they are missing time together in the Word of God, then something HAS to change.

The Word of God...



Sharper than any two edged sword.

Used to divide...even to the joints and the marrow; the thoughts and intentions of the heart; the soul and the spirit.


As a mother, if I allow opportunities to cloud discipleship, I will stand before Jesus and find that I have failed.

My job isn't to rear a wonderful soccer player.

My job is to train and disciple world changers for God's Kingdom.


How much of Jesus do my children know?

How much of God's Word do they know?



Quit striving.


These will be my reminders to myself as we embark upon another homeschooling semester.

I was so stressed these past few days, worrying about trying to make our Christmas look the way I thought it was supposed to, and then I one here cared if we ate on the good china or not.

No one cared if I had a Christmas table cloth and a pretty center piece.

What mattered this Christmas was that we were together. 

Who mattered this Christmas was a dear friend of mine who needed someone by her side.

What my children will remember is the great Mexican food we had at a restaurant on Christmas Eve, the cookies we baked together, the time they spent playing in the snow with their Daddy, and the sharing of all we have to be thankful for...each of us thanked God for something important to us before the opening of each present.

Then we told of something we'd learned from the Word this year...with every single gift.

It was a precious time of sharing.

When it came time to eat dinner tonight, we realized that all we had to choose from was bean soup (which had been paying it's dividends around here for 2 days...p-you!) and corn dogs.

So I decided to whip up some potato soup instead.

And guess what?

From that soup, a new family tradition was born.

Brennan loved it so much that she said she wanted to have it EVERY Christmas night!

It was a sweet, low-key Christmas, and for was perfect!

Here's my recipe. I write these to myself, so you can disregard the personal notes. :)

Merry Christmas!

Homemade Christmas Night Potato Soup

I made this tonight on our very first White Christmas in our own home.

Brennan loved it so much that she said she wants us to have it EVERY Christmas night!

So this is how traditions are born! Thank You, Lord! 

8 Medium Sized Russet Potatoes, diced
2-3 Cloves fresh garlic
2-3 Leeks, root ends cut off
1 large carrot
Approx. 6 cups Organic Chicken Broth
Coarse Sea Salt
Coarse Ground Black Peppercorns
¼ c. salted butter

In All Clad sauce pan (or in a quality soup pot if I have one by the next time I make this) sauté chopped garlic and the ends of the leeks, which have been very thinly sliced and halved, in the butter.

Peel carrot and then shred with vegetable peeler, into thin strips and mix into the above.

Allow to cook over med-high heat until well done (though not browned).

Pour all the chicken broth into a large soup pot and add the sautéed vegetables, along with all of the potatoes.
Add approx 1 tsp. of salt and ground black pepper to taste. (8 churns or so.)

Bring to a boil.

Immediately reduce to simmer and allow to cook on low for approx. 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Remove approx. 5 cups of the soup and put into Vitamix and puree until smooth.

Pour this pureed soup back into the rest of the batch and blend the two soups together.

(If one prefers more of a clear broth with potato chunks, skip the Vitamix. If one prefers more of a smooth soup, everything can be blended in Vitamix, but be aware that you’ll still want to put the pureed soup back into the pot on the stove and cook on low for a few minutes in order to get the air bubbles out.)

Give your praise to the Lord.

Thank Him for His provision and for coming to earth to die for your sins, and rise that you might have newness of life in Him.

Commit to walk in obedience to Him as your Christmas gift to your Lord.


Serve and enjoy!


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