December 31, 2016

Motherhood Parables: The Chalkboard

I have a big chalkboard in my kitchen on the wall that I use for homeschooling purposes. I wasn't sure at first what I would use it for exactly, but I know that I'm a visual person and I love having a place to show things, so I painted one up right after moving into our new house.

well, I found so many uses for it that there was no more room to write up a little scripture that we could focus on memorizing as a family.

As much as I would like to be that awesome family to memorize scripture every week, that is not the case. Although that is the ideal that I would love to shoot for, it's more like one a month. That said, I realized soon enough that I would need a separate chalkboard just for the scripture.

If I had one dedicated solely for a scripture we could ponder on/memorize – – ponderize--would be more likely to accomplish our weekly goal. So I covered a small magnetic board with chalkboard paper and use that for our ponderize board.

Anyway...I pulled the board off-the-wall this week so I could write our scripture on it and I realized that I love writing the scripture on this little chalkboard in a very visual way. It breaks the scripture down into a more simple and easy to understand visual definition. It's fun to organize it and draw in such a way that the icons, symbols, and words visually represent and speak more of the meaning of the scripture than just plain written words. It takes a little work, but the result is much more satisfying than just  scribbling something up there, or printing plain words ( which I normally would've just done ).

Here are some examples:

So… I was I was drawing this one, the fifth for the year I think… )Which is about one month. Ha ha) I realized that these words and the scripture brings beauty to our kitchen and to our family goal/activity of memorizing scripture.

And the only way I could do this, was because the boys were gone on a Saturday and I had some downtime with the girls. They were coloring at the table and I had an hour to kill. With extra time and a simple desire to bring beauty and meaning to a family activity/teaching, I could infuse beauty. (note, it did not take the full hour… Just 10 minutes or so. But then I also had time to write this post. :-)

Sometimes life can be so hectic or fast-paced or systemized or encroached on by outside expectations and events and standards that it's easy to forget (or not have time) to find or emphasize the beauty in life. When really, the things we own and the things we do can and should be infused with beauty and joy because in my eyes that is the purpose of life.

I am glad I have chalkboards, and that I bought a bunch of colored chalk, because now I have an outlet in which to beautify the home and in which I find enjoyment sitting down and creating pictures.

Sidenote: I've been starting to draw simple pictures for Nellie to color, rather than using a Coloring Book for her. And I find that I enjoy drawing them, even if I just copy a simple picture from the Internet coloring page, and that she enjoys coloring them just the same.… (If not more because we created something together). And that is beauty infusing our home even more, both from our creations we can display and our bonding time together.

December 18, 2016

Motherhood Parables: A Sunday Morning

A Sunday morning

So we woke up this morning to find that our two-year-old had a runny nose and a cough. I volunteered to stay home from church with her and the baby. Mama can always use a little extra rest and downtime. :-)

Luckily I was able to get both little ones down for a nap, or so I thought, which meant I actually got the next hour free.

During this time I could have defaulted to my usual method of passing time while feeding the baby to get him ready to put down: a game app called blendDoku (which since I like math games and puzzles, is a great puzzle based game to learn Colors and color theory, btw). It's just the way I waste time when my mind doesn't want to think on the realities of life. :-) But it's not really wasting time since I'm learning color theory as a side-effect, right?

AnyWho… I decided that my mind didn't know what to do and it just wanted to waste time; but seeing as it was Sunday and I didn't make it to church, I thought there may be a better way to spend my time and brainpower (Which I didn't really think I had at that time.)

So, I just went to my note app and decided to open a new note and to think about something family related or Christ centered. I really didn't have any desire to do anything else… So I thought a blank page might allow for some direction to find me, since I could find little direction myself. This was a great chance to get stuff out of my head… Because I could tell there was so much in it (hence my desire to escape reality through playing my game).

The result… I ended up writing some notes about what my family has been doing recently, and stumbled upon a drawing feature in the note app. So cool. I love doodling with my notes. Notes would be very boring for me if I couldn't doodle. :)

After doing this, I opened a new note and just started doodling something, and this doodle turned into something really cool that I had kind of been thinking about over the last year or two and developing. And it related to spiritual armor as talked about in  Scripture.

By the end of the doodle, I felt uplifted and that my mind had become more spiritually aligned and in tune to focus on things of the spirit and things of truth. And that's what my mind needed.

This was true refreshment which brings joy. The game was merely a staller to satisfy an immediate feeling. But given time and A desire for something better, I was able to find that bit of refreshment that only comes from God and his sources here on earth such as scripture and things of the spirit and charity and love.

I invite you to ponder on the next time you want to do something that has no meaningful purpose, and just ask yourself what your desire is. We don't have to know the answers, we just have to ask a question and allow time and space for direction and higher thoughts to intervene without other distractions getting in our way.

Now don't get me wrong, games are great. So don't go get rid of all your games or anything. Or I might just call you a fool--although some are better than others.  Haha. If I had no games in my life, I would be one boring mama. Remember, This is just a parable.

And by the way, after I had this uplifting experience I was able to take a shower and ponder on it more, in which I became aware of the parable of this situation I am. And then I also had time to write this post, which if no one else is able to enjoy, at least I am able to read and enjoy some time later in my life hopefully.

Blah blah blah…
Moral of the story: It was a good Sunday morning, but it's because I remembered it was Sunday, and the purpose of A "sabbath."

Little choices can have a big impact.