Thoughts for Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday July 10, 2014

What am I cooking?

Quinoa muffins from Vegetarian Cooking is for Everyone.  My wonderful husband brought home a three pound bag of organic quinoa from Sam’s Club (!?), which has sent me searching for all manner of recipes for this ancient grain.  It is so fun to develop a new ingredient recipe repertoire!  Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?  I’d love to hear about it.

What are my weekend plans?

My grandmother turns 93 three this weekend, and we’ll be going to a family birthday celebration in her honor.  For the past year and a half, since we moved closer to my family, my kids and I try to bring GG lunch once a week for a visit.  This week, she couldn’t believe it when we told her that she would be turning ninety-three.  She shook her head in cheerful disbelief.  The weekly time with my grandmother is a treasure for both me and my kids, even though it takes a lot of dedication, planning and sometimes a burst of stamina on the part of an exhausted mom.  The sacrifice of time and energy is worth it to have a small, weekly share in her life.

What are my prayer intentions for the day?

I am praying for peace in my heart, the strength to be a peacemaker in my family, and for the health of family and friends.

What can my children do instead of watching TV?

All of our Duplos cover my living room floor and we’ve been building all morning.  As soon as the sun graces our yard, we’re in the sandbox, in the yard, going for bike rides, doing everything outside these days, because this is prime time weather for Minnesota.  No time for TV in our house!

What have I done for my marriage this week?

My husband has a big licensing exam coming up.  It is easy for me to forget how this looming milestone burdens and exhausts him.  He never complains and rarely seems preoccupied, so I can foolishly misread his exhaustion and far off looks as disinterested aloofness.  I am remembering 1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient and kind, and that my love must bear all things, believe all things and hope all things.  I have a beautiful opportunity in the coming days to bless his preparation time by going the extra mile, lavishing patience and understanding and creating a welcoming, relaxing haven for his arrival home.  If my day has been crazy, it is just all the more opportunity to accomplish these things out of love.

What am I reading?

Lifeline by James Stenson.  I first read this book when our oldest was a toddler, and I am so glad to be re-reading it now.  It is an excellent, concise, encouraging work on parenting.

What is one product that is making my life easier?

My Norwex cleaning cloths.  The Builders recently had a conversation about household cleaning off the blog.  I appreciated that each Builder is committed and dedicated to the idea of maintaining a tidy and welcoming home, yet we all approach and accomplish the challenge of housecleaning differently.  I do not have professional cleaning help, and my four kids are on the younger side (7 and under), so most, but not all, of the cleaning falls to me.  I discovered Norwex products about a  year ago and love them.  I now clean just with my cloths and water, no chemicals, which means that I can clean during our daily routine when the kids are around and even give jobs to them.  My kids enjoy using the dusting mitt alongside me, wiping down the tables with the microfiber towels, wiping down the kitchen and bathroom surfaces, all of which is a tremendous help.  I find that the cloths allow me to clean more efficiently, more frequently and with more help than I would be able to otherwise.  Housecleaning is an endless battle, one that requires frequent re-evaluation at every family stage, but right now Norwex is helping me make our system work.

What is challenging me lately?

Being cheerful amidst the obligations of everyday life is a challenge!  The gospels and New Testament letters are filled with exhortations to believers to be of good cheer!  But, let’s face it, not every moment of our day is rosy and enjoyable, no matter our vocation.  A priest recently reminded me that a cheerful witness is easier when we unite ourselves with Jesus in difficult moments.  We can pray that “the joy of the Lord” might be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  After all, Christ was not smiling and skipping on his way to the cross, but bore his sufferings and cross “for the joy set before him” (Heb 12:2).  When the pot is boiling over on the stove, when the mess must be cleaned up, when baby is screaming and the bike ride is getting tough, I can offer a great witness to my kids if I offer a cheerful word or action rather than a frustrated frown.  Lord, may your joy be our strength!


Have a wonderful weekend.

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