Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How We Do It !!!!!

Its little phrases like and he must needs go through Samaria( John 4) that keep my head above the water. Jesus even had "appointments," places he must travel through. They could not be avoided, his Fathers hand was in it! There was a work to be done in Samaria, the woman at the well needed the living water. Likewise, we must needs go through this trial, maybe not only for us but for others. I do not know why even as yet.....I long to see some of the good, but I just might have to wait it out. Like I have said before and I will say again, its like a person that has had a limb amputated, that person is not the same, is not totally whole, but they learn to "adapt" to the new body. I think I will be learning to adapt the rest of my life. Just a small moment can bring a wave, like this morning I walked outside and it was like I felt I had been here before, in that moment. A very hot summer morning...I go out to take a walk....soon two little boys come busting out the door eager for the day. It was like I could see it all before me, because it did happen one morning. Sometimes those moments can darken my whole day, I have to make a choice to keep going on for the sake of the rest, but sometimes I just do not want to, I want to hide and stay in my little world. I too ask the question that Simon Peter asked "to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." I have no other place to go, the Lord has the words I need, He has words that speak of eternity where apart of me now resides so I must keep on.....

Of course a larger family always is an "attention getter," many questions have come our way, along with statements that we have to be creative and give an answer that would edify the Lord because "they" are not happy with the direction we have chosen. Sometimes I want to let them have it and say, "well why should it bother you, your not feeding them, your not out any money."Overall we have had encouraging words. My thought is, the more children, the more help!!!! Most of the questions pertain to how does it all work? And the answer is DELEGATE!!!! I came to that conclusion after learning the hard way of wearing myself out trying to do it all myself. I know there is that season where we mommies find ourselves doing everything because the children are so small, so for that my thoughts would be to spread the duties out that you have to do throughout the week, such as washing, cleaning, maybe have certain days you do school instead of everyday, seek to train the ones that are capable of small jobs, just keep it all on a small scale, soon the reaping will come with helpers. For our family there are chores that we do everyday, general clean up and each has there assigned duties, certain ones clean the living room, kitchen, etc, Anna does all the laundry and we have "folders." Bethany is in charge of lunch and another clean up. There are outside chores with all the animals and they follow through with those. When there is lack of motivation and responsibility then there is discipline or more responsibilities given. Also one day a week we have a cleaning day that we do some hard cleaning and all those chores are divided up amongst the ones that are here. Thankful to the Lord, and since we have lived out were work is demanded, there has really not been another option for them to choose. I still deal with whines and not doing it right when I say and the old favorite" I forgot," but over all, they do well. I certainly do not have all the answers, mostly I have just done what works for us, I am not a big reader on how to, I just see what needs to be done and give the instructions and expect it, I am probably more like a drill sergeant and Terry has more mercy than I, but I guess that is where the balance comes in!!! As for meals, I have to make a menu and I shop every two weeks, I make a list of what is needed for the menu and try to stick with what is on it, unless I come across special buys. I like one dish meals more, like lasagna, salad and Bethany's homemade french bread. We are eating a lot out of the garden now, so that helps the budget too. We try to eat pretty healthy, there is always room for improvement. We try to stick with using wheat flour we grind ourselves, succanat instead of refined sugar, and I rarely buy prepared foods, sometimes pizzas for Sunday night. Lunches are usually leftovers, Peanut butter and jelly, fruit , vegetables, grilled cheese, and sometimes Bethany makes homemade pizza. About school, I generally do not start anything formal until they are about 6. As I said before the curriculum that we use is the Advanced Training Institute with Mr. Bill Gothard and it is conducive to all ages, along with the Wisdom booklets that they put out we do Saxon math on the side and we use their phonics program. I have never tried all kinds of different things due to resources. We have been doing this same stuff for the whole 14 years of homeschooling. It works for us. I do get bogged down at times wondering how are they ever going to "get it," but really if they can just learn the basics, reading, writing, math then that will be the road to higher learning because they can seek out info on their own. Caleb and Daniel survived and I saw some things they wrote via e-mails and was quite impressed, they learned a lot by reading as they were avid readers and listeners when they were younger and they have learned by being around adults and not peers. Like I tell mommies about potty training, "they will eventually get it." Why torture myself when it will just come!!!! I know with Caleb and Daniel they were trained at 18 months, it was so exciting for all the firsts but I did not have anything else to do:) For sure since Joel's illness, my perspective has changed so much, seek to enjoy the children "things and laundry" can wait, have fun and make memories!!! I know this is all pretty general info, and it is nothing profound by any means but maybe it will give a start and jog some of your own thoughts. I will be glad to try to answer any specific questions you might have about the Morris house if you like. The thing to NOT do is compare ourselves with others, as it is not wise the scripture says, just do for your family and trust the Lord for the harvest!! We are all in the same boat, keep paddling!!!!!!

The guys are working hard, again thankful for jobs!!! The truck is suppose to be done soon, they have been driving the van, which we pray will last til the truck gets done...engine problems, and you will not believe this, Saturday, our dryer caught on fire, we are so thankful that once again the Lord allowed us to be at the right place at the right time!!! The good thing is, someone had given us a maytag awhile back so we just changed it out!! All these seemingly difficulties, which are nothing comparable to past difficulties, God is ordering all of them, and can trust he has plans beyond sight along with character that is being built in us!!! Uh....oooooooo...... recieved phone call, the van is billowing smoke, Terry just called to get a # to get a ride home from the job site:( Maybe the yummy hamburgers we are having tonight will cheer the guys up!!!!!!!!

May the Lord bless each home!!!!



Lockwoods said...

Wonderful post! I was just talking on the phone with my sister in law last night encouraging her with many of the same things. She is 7 years younger than I am and is expecting her 6th...her oldest being only 6 years old.
In fact, when she was talking to me about her oldest learning to read, I used the potty training example~ Some train at 18 m....others closer to 3 yrs...but when they are all grown up someday, they'll all just "go" the same. :)
The Lord has taught us over the years too not to worry, fret or compare and just continue to do the next thing that we know to do.
When Daniel was so very sick and we were expecting the "worst", I just kept "doing the next thing". I wanted to just sit and stare or cry and "check out"...but when I couldn't think past the next hour, I just "did the next thing"...cook lunch, read a story, make a phone call ect... with the Lord giving grace each step of the way.
I love to see your family as it is a glimpse ahead of where we will be 8 years from now. I'm so thankful for you all and your example and faithfulness encourages me so much.
Thank you especially for your prayers for us the past couple of weeks. Though we've never "met", we love you and pray for you each day.

aeedwards said...

Thank you so much for this. I am in the middle of potty training my two year old and I have a nine month old. I often wonder how you do it with so many. It has been a true test of my patience. But, this post reminded me that...it will come and to always pray for guidance. And, that making memories with my children is more important than rushing them into a developmental stage. Thanks for your words, Cindy. This also really helps me with my documenting of the journal. I liked this entry.

Adina, mom to Elijah and Merry said...

I usually answer, "By God's grace," or "God has been so good to us." People who ask those questions probably have not had their eyes opened to the sufficiency of God's grace. . . thank you for showing us that and displaying the grace of the cross and Christ's work in your family! As always, you have blessed me today!

Christy said...

My husband and I are contemplating the idea of having a third child. (In light of your having many more than three, this may seem funny to you.) I never thought I would feel like I could handle loving, parenting and homeschooling more than two... But I am now of the firm belief that I have been called to service and growth, through my family. What better way to serve God than to provide him with more godly laborers who will follow Him, love Him, and serve Him? (Not to mention the fruits that are borne in me, as a parent, by constantly being humbled by parenthood.) I am so excited about being a mom! Your family, as well as other large families, only serve to ENCOURAGE me. Yes, I MARVEL at how you do it...but it is apparent that your strength comes from your FAITH in God and HIS STRENGTH in you. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 I truly enjoy reading your blog and have gleaned much practical knowledge from the way you raise your children. Thank you.

Laura said...

Thanks so much for this post. You are an amazing woman and such and encouragement to me. Your children are so blessed to have you as their Mama. :)

I would love to see you post on life with just little ones sometime. I know it's been a while since you've only had littles, but I struggle with getting everything done and I would love some advice! I'm expecting my 5th baby in January, at which time my oldest will not yet be 5. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and feel like everything has to be done well or it just drives me nuts. I'm not very good at delegating tasks to my children. Partly because I'm not sure what to delegate. What can a 4yo do? He helps me fold laundry, cleans up all his own toys, cleans his dishes off of the table...little things like that. Are there any other chores that you gave to your children when they were small? I'm trying to teach he and my 3yo how to sweep, but the coordination is not quite there yet.

Part of my problem is just that I need to relax. The children will help me fold laundry, but I'll go back and refold everything when they're not looking because it's not exactly the way I like it. Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh? :) And I feel like the house needs to be spotless because that's the way my husband likes it, when in reality, he is very understanding and doesn't put pressure on me at all. He knows that I have my hands full while he's gone during the day, and he never complains about the house being cluttered or dirty. Just another ridiculous expectation that I impose upon myself. Anyway, I would love to gain from your wisdom on any of these issues!

Thank you!