Friday, December 14, 2012


As I wait to celebrate the birth of one child...

Tonight I am praying for all children.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Find Myself Dreaming of Spring

Many moons ago I uploaded a book published in 1903, A Woman's Hardy Garden by Helena Rutherfurd Ely. I've been reading it off and on for over 2 years. I'm trying to fool myself into thinking that I could possibly grow a flower garden.  Now that we've had a yard for 15 months I find that I have quite the green thumb - my weeds were healthy and thrived all year.  I managed them so well that they survived even when my husband sprayed weed killer on them.  I have a gift.

So now I am perusing several gardening books.  I started to do some research on the author of Woman's Hardy Garden.  Found this bit of information -
In the early 1900s, Helena Rutherfurd Ely, a founding member of the Garden Club of America, wrote three books encouraging a generation of gardeners to abandon the Victorian practice of "bedding out" garish colored tender annuals in geometric beds, the gardening equivalent of a showy, status-seeking home. Instead, she urged her followers toward a more informal and sensual style.
What started as a matter of personal taste became a revolutionary movement, and made Ely and her garden early stars of American horticulture.
Her inspiration came from the relaxed plantings of farmhouse dooryards and rural fences lined with casually tended hardy herbaceous perennials. Her first book, "A Woman's Hardy Garden" (1903), sold 40,000 copies, an impressive number for a garden book even today. Her five-acre garden on the New Jersey-New York border became a mecca for her disciples, and she was inundated with fan mail. Letters were still arriving more than 20 years after her death in 1920.
Hmmmm, I live 9 miles from the NY/NJ border....hmmmm.  After a bit of internet snooping I found out that as of 2004 her gardens were still being maintained, and they are 7 miles from my house!!!  The owner who had maintained the gardens died in 2004 so I'll have to find out this spring if the new owners of the property are allowing folks to have a look! I've lived in NYC for over 20 years so I have NO CLUE when it comes to gardening.  Now that I'm living in a rural outpost of the city, I think this spring I'll stick a few plants in some dirt and see what happens.
(I found her book on U Penn's digital library, have a look).
This ends my ode to spring - now I gotta shake a leg and get ready for Christmas. HoHoHo.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

If you do not find time for exercise you will...

have to find time for illness.
It can be so difficult to find a balance between caring too much for our bodies and caring too little.  I'm afraid I fall into the second group.  I get so busy, and the first thing to go will be exercise.  Even my fall back exercise, walking the dog, will get delegated to my daughter.
Our bodies are the only living sacrifice we have to offer God (Proverbs 4:23).  If we are too busy to take care of our bodies, are we busier than God wants us to be?
I recently got a new toy for Mother's Day

This little beauty keeps me movin'! I don't belong to a gym, so that's how I justified requesting it ;). 
Find a way to keep motivated! Having an exercise partner helps, but if you don't have that connection with someone then try an on-line group.  I recently found out about and I love the site.  It tracks your food intake, exercise, and has support groups.
It's spring! Let's get going!  Having a healthy body that can move you and house an active mind and a loving's a blessing!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Let your habits have a piggyback ride!

Are you wanting to develop a new habit?  Maybe memorizing scripture? Getting in a few more minutes of exercise? Counting your blessings? Then piggyback new habits on to old ones!
My neighbor down the street has a son who suffered brain damage.  The mom explained to me that as he learns and masters a new task, they piggyback on to it a new habit they want him to master.  For example, he has to review daily to remember his address and telephone number.  Every night when he has a bath, a habit that is well engrained and he is comfortable with, he uses bathtime to review his address and telephone number. 
As I was walking back home I thought about what new habits I could piggyback on to old ones.  Hmmm...
Well coffee every morning is definately a habit...could piggyback reading the Bible every day on to that one.  I have to walk the dog twice a day...could piggyback praying for others on to that one.  There is a TV program that comes on every Sunday night...maybe I could piggyback unfinished craft projects on to that.  And during my daily drive to pick up my commuter husband I'm gonna counting my blessings!
Now I'm really thinking about all the new positive habits I want to develop.  It will be much easier to develop these habits if I attach them to habits I already have.  And maybe I could find some not so great habits to piggyback on to and slowly let the new habit take over :). 
Do you have any habits that could take newer, positive habits for a piggyback ride?

Monday, May 14, 2012

I know the answer...YES, YOU ARE MOTHER ENOUGH!

You know more than you think you do! (thank you Dr. Spock)
Motherhood is many different things, but I'll tell you what it ain't:
It's not a competition; it's not a measure of your worth; it's not perfect; and it's NOT the same for every woman and every child.
I've been looking critically at what some of the "experts" are saying about motherhood. My goodness, if I was a new mother today I would be completely overawed by all the "shoulds" and "musts" I see being promoted.  So, I would like to put my voice into the mix..."Have confidence in yourself".  Mommies and Daddies usually know what is best for their child.  Trust in yourself...and pray...a lot!
I was looking at the website of a very well known speaker on motherhood.  She's published gobs of books and hosts many conferences around the country.  Now, I'm not gonna throw the baby out with the bathwater, much of what she has to say is pretty sound advice.  However, she sure does have an awful lot of "shoulds" in her advice- "You should have daily devotions with your child." "You should be at home." "You should homeschool." She even goes so far as to relay a story of going to a conference and being able to tell which child had a "strong foundation" and had been raised as she suggested by the way the child was behaving.  (I think a child can have a wonderfully strong foundation and still have days when they behave like little terrors!)
And now Time magazine jumps in and tries to ensnare us in the trap of "who is the better mother." I do hope the women people of America don't fall for that one.
Let's take a breath....

Here are some important truths about motherhood:
You are a child of God who seeks to walk in his truth.
Your child is a gift from God.
You want your children to fulfill their potential.

Keep looking at the big picture! Don't get bogged down in shoulds.  I'm a teacher and every lesson has an objective.  If I'm teaching children addition I could use songs, flash cards, computer games, worksheets, manipulatives, etc.  There are many ways to get the concept of addition across.

The same is true for raising a child! An objective for your child is, for example, to develop a relationship with God.  The goal is the objective and there are so, so many paths to get there.  You could have daily devotions, go to church, sing hymns, set a godly example, watch videos, pray together, etc...There is no should.  My oldest child loves to read the Bible and write out verses, but my other daughter prefers to sing hymns.  At the end of the day, I just want them to know that God has named them and claimed them and made them his own.  That is a source of joy, not stress and feelings of failure.

My path is not your path. My child's path is not your child's path.  His will for my family may not be His will for yours! Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Try to meet His expectations of what mother you should be, for you will surely exhaust yourself trying to meet the expectations of everyone else.  Let your child influence you.  Having a child is a wonderful opportunity to think about the kind of person God has made you today.  Use these insights to understand, trust and have confidence in yourself. 

Are you mother enough? God has answered the question for you.  YES.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

My very best Mother's Day present...

Today and every day!