having those conversations

Something in my last post bothered me a little, or at least made me think. I wrote, “I still need the occasional reminder to step away from the table work and embrace the freedom we’ve been given to simultaneously get to know and remember the world.”

That isn’t a directly Biblical thought.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of adversity come, and the years approach of which you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them…'”

I’ve noticed I have a tendency to assume people know what I’m talking about, or because I’ve known something for a while, then I assume and act as if they, too, know that something. What inspired our “science day” in the first place was a recent experience in our co-op where the other set of parents were holding up a globe and demonstrating how the earth revolves around the sun. One of my boys looked at me with that wide-eyed and satisfied surprise that comes with learning and said, “Huh. I didn’t now that.”

(This reminds me of the time I excitedly started off with, “Okay everybody, lets get in a circle!” while teaching summer VBS 3-year olds.)

It seems like such a basic thing, but I guess we hadn’t ever talked about it. So our science day focused not only on getting out in nature and experiencing some very obvious effects of the seasons such as cold, cloudy skies, frozen lakes, and crunchy snow, but we also went back in and watched an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy talking about seasons. Back at the table, I put a grapefruit out to stand in place of the sun, and a tiny round bead for the earth to give some kind of visual idea of the differences in size. Because part of learning is being able to speak out loud what you have learned for yourself, they drew pictures of the sun and the tilted earth in their journals, and then everybody took turns sharing with their audience and explaining what they had drawn.

“Remember your Creator…”

As great as all of that is, it isn’t even the main point, and it’s the main point that I don’t ever want to forget. Nature walking is a religious and a spiritual experience for me. Nature nourishes my soul and body. It’s how I feel connected with both the spiritual and physical world, get pulled back into the awe and majesty of God’s presence. My kids have no clue that I feel that way, and they have no way of knowing how enhances and fortifies my belief in the Christian God of the Bible unless I open my mouth and tell them.

They probably don’t even need to know all that.

My main point here is that the Christian faith is not passed down by osmosis. I don’t think I need to become a street evangelist from my kitchen with the kids, but I have been convicted of assuming too much, and probably saying too little.

Today’s a new day, friends.

 

all this time

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The kids and I went for a walk yesterday. We took the day off from regular schooling, and I told the kids we were having a science day. I used to do this much more often when we first started homeschooling, and while I miss it, I haven’t had as much pull to get outside. I’m enjoying the days of more focused book learning, but that being said, I still need the occasional reminder to step away from the table work and embrace the freedom we’ve been given to simultaneously get to know and remember the world.

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I used to feel like summers were the special times to cherish. The end of the school year brought a sense of relief and anticipation of three summer months of open schedules and having my kids home and under one roof. I feel this way about winters now.

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whole30 week three

I’ve been listening to a lot of Youtube videos at night. Back in November, one of my friends told me she’d been on a strictly carnivore diet for several months, and that it seemed to be slowly working to heal gut health issues she’s struggled with for years. With the exception of hearing about Jordan Peterson’s daughter, Mikailia, I’d never heard of anyone following a carnivore diet, but it seems to be gaining in popularity.

The carnivore diet consists of animal foods. Any animal that you can kill and eat for meat would be considered acceptable, although red meat seems to be the most popular and sought out choice. Along with the muscle meats, some carnivores regularly incorporate organ meats, consuming animal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys.

When I was pregnant with my youngest, I craved canned salmon in the first trimester. I can remember sitting in our kitchen, in a Sesame Street kiddie chair, eating salmon straight from the can. Obviously I was needing fatty acids or something. I don’t find myself craving salmon anymore, but when we do eat it the best part to me is the skin.

All this to say, it makes sense to me how this diet could be healing.  I can’t go back and change it now, but looking back on how I’ve fed myself over the past fifteen years, red meat has been nowhere near the top of the list. Of course there were the general health recommendations against it, but I also didn’t like red meat because it was bloody.

I haven’t gone full-blown carnivore or anything, but for most of this Whole30 I’ve eaten red meat everyday, multiple times a day, mostly in the form of hamburger patties. It feels like my body is basically absorbing it, and I’m actually starting to crave hamburger now. I have no idea what the insides of my intestines or arteries look like right now, but I’m feeling good with the increased meat, which I’ll also eat with eggs, avocado, or squash.

 

 

 

two new jars

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The past several Saturdays have been the work of catching up. Putting away Christmas, making room for new possessions, addressing all the issues that were put aside for a time. This Saturday feels more like a maintenance day. A few loads of laundry, picking up bedrooms, making sure the tidied living room is staying that way.

The kids have their Saturday chores every week. They mostly consist of making improvements to their personal spaces.  Headboard bookshelves, the tops of the dressers, all these nooks accumulate disorder over the course of a week. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but they at least have to try and put forth an effort.

They are all now working on other things. One is researching line-ups for a ball game. One is clean and showered, now resting comfortably in a chair with a book. One is testing out his new woodworking tools, asking to make trips back and forth to the picnic shelter shed with the pile of wood scraps. One strapped a pair of pliers onto his belt, and wants to head to the garage. Another plunks away at the piano for a while, then wants to join his brothers. Dad is next door at a dream session work retreat with the camp board.

(I’m sitting here typing.)

My point is that every single person in my family right now is fully engaged in something they truly love and want to do. Before I sat down to my computer, I was momentarily in that soul-state of floating around in frustration, wondering what my place in all of this was. Breakfast isn’t cleaned up, and lunch is soon approaching. Not a single place in this house is in a state where it couldn’t stand to be improved or worked on in some manner. Everybody else can seemingly walk away from this place with no mental attachments.

(I’m still writing about it).

Living with other people does not mean you do not get to have a life. I’ve spent a lot of time in the head space of “Apparently SOMEbody can’t have a life around here, and that default person appears to be me???” All the human beings closest to me in this world right now are doing something separate, apart from me, and they are happier for it.

There’s the kind of work, where like my little one this morning honestly asks, “What’s my prize?” And then there’s the work where work itself is the reward.

 

the obvious

Let me point out the obvious good things. We live on over 225 acres of land, in a much bigger-than-it-looks-from-the-front sized house, and are surrounded by nature, which are all things I love.

So when I find myself feeling socially isolated–unfulfilled–as of late, I’m back to that place of wondering why.  Articles all over the internet say that loneliness kills, and for a while I feel justified.

Isn’t this kind of what the monks used to do?

I know I’ve had warped views on what it means to serve God. I still believe in being spiritually trained and pruned, but not by the means of a self-imposed effacement. It is good to be a human.

So when is God calling for the actual death of me and when is He calling for the moving, breathing, heart-beating life of me?  But now why ask myself? Why am I now asking the blank page and not Him?

God is there, and I think this is where I am going with this. Loneliness, deadly as it is, cannot kill me.  It hasn’t killed me yet, and it this point, isn’t going to. Sufferings–ha!–are immortality’s shadows.

If only you could see the view, friends.

So much towers above me up there!