off to a great start?

          Well, I thought this might happen. I'm too busy to blog! This is due, in part, to the fact that I'm a mawmaw.

I spend approximately 89,0578% of my day doing this.

The primary culprit, however, is my lack of discipline and haphazard daily routine! Discipline of any sort was never imparted to me as a child, so naturally I struggle with this as a mother and wife--keep those words in mind if you're raising unruly kids!

          If you're like me, you find yourself wondering where all those hours went as evening approaches and the bulk of tasks you've set on your plate for the day haven't even been touched. Sure, you could blame it on the constant interruptions of a young child (who despises naps outside of your arms), you could point the finger at the inadequate resources you have to work with, you could place the blame on any shoulders you choose. But if you put your pointing away and examine how you handle your day, where every minute goes, you'd be surprised at just how much fluff you could trim from your schedule. We are all given the same number of hours in each day, but the Proverbs 31 woman whose candle doesn't go out by night is sure to achieve more for her house and the glory of God than Mrs. Delta-Facebook-addict (I keep telling myself I'll delete it-hah!). The key here is maximizing usable time throughout the day and counting every minute as precious. And, really, if you think about how your life is but a vapor, every minute is in fact very precious.

         I've been reading a great book lent to me by a dear friend, a mother of five great kids (with number six due in December!). It was watching her buzz like the queen bee around her hive with the coolest of heads and the calmest of nerves as five different little bees (13 months to 7 years) buzz around on their own trajectories. She keeps a beautifully clean house (but is not a neurotic basket case about it like I can be), prepares every meal on time (without burning or undercooking it, which is my specialty) and still has time to enjoy and teach her kids and do things like sew and garden and study, and she still has the time and energy to spend quality time with her (awesome) husband! Who the heck invited Super Mom? I confided in her my feeling of drowning in maternal mediocrity compared to her example, when she handed me this book:
available from Amazon
          In the past, I've been highly skeptical of any solutions offered from a book. I grew up in a house littered with Woman's World magazines whose covers were emblazoned with all manner of self-help offers (Gorge Yourself Skinny!) and saw no effects in the person reading them. I simply put two and two together than authors of self-help books are just money-grubbing quacks. This book goes beyond self-help. Like when I first began studying the Bible, I realized I can't help myself. I'm truly very weak. I needed help from an outside source. The introduction of this book made my eyes light up:

          "Many years ago, I was the mother of one small baby boy in a little rental house. My husband and I were committed to having me stay at home to raise our little boy. I remember being embarrassed because of the dust, laundry piled up, and dirty dishes, and I scrambled to make something for supper just minutes before my hard-working husband came home.
          Why couldn't I handle the basics? My shortcomings as a homemaker frustrated me. I had read enough to know that I had it easy compared to women in the past. I didn't have to go outside and pump water like my grandmother did. I didn't have to kill a chicken and dress it to make supper. I had a gas stove,a refrigerator, a freezer, a crockpot, a washer and dryer. I was rich compared to women throughout the ages, and I knew it. What was wrong with me?"
           Wait... there's more than one of us? I'm sure I won't make any friends by saying this, but Hurricane Feminism has left a lot of poorly disciplined girls and women in its wake. We now have this primadonna mentality running rampant, but I won't follow that rabbit trail this time. Stay-at-home moms now seem to be something revolutionary when really it's one of the simplest and most natural occupations. How the tables have turned! Motherhood and homemaking were once the locked chains around women to which Feminism and all its tenets (a rewarding career, no obligation to a husband or children, so-called equal standing with men) were the key. Now, I see women bound to their images, slaves to fashion, bound to their jobs (whether menial or "rewarding") in order to keep themselves within four walls in this rotten economy. I found liberation in my role as a mother and wife. I used to say I wanted to go back to work after my son was born because I was too lazy to be a stay-at-home mom!
          Anyway, I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you're one of those who has been told "there's no manual" to things like managing a family and a house. I beg to differ! Because of what I'm picking up as I read this book, I find myself not only with the energy and the plan but the desire to make the absolute most of my resources and make my shoebox apartment (I'm thinking I'll start calling it the Abiding Place) a home! I too, am blessed! I'm done complaining about this apartment, something I could do with no end! Plenty of women make homes of sod and straw, why not me with my apartment? I'm not owed anything better than what I have. I work with what I have and I pray about the rest. The author, Kim Brenneman, suggests putting encouraging scriptures up throughout the house. My verse for this apartment?
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (KJV)
          So, if you read this blog, I'm glad for it. I do more noteworthy things with my days than I've mentioned so far, and I believe I'll work some space into my routine for regular blog writing. You deserve to know how awesome life is through the Alpha Delta lens :)
          Is there any habit you've had to train yourself out of in the transition from teenage years to adulthood? I'd love to hear your success story. I used to eat nothing but Stauffer's frozen dinners until I started literally forcing myself to eat vegetables and whole foods. I no longer have nightmares about mushrooms and bell peppers. How about you?

                                      Alpha Delta

What's for dinner?: When my taller half gets home, I hope to coax him into taking us out to the Blue Ribbon Smokehouse in Phelps, NY!
Verse of the day: 1John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (KJV)

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