First of all, Focus on the Family in and of itself is a HUGE resource. If you're not familiar with James Dobson, google him. He's written many really good books on family/parenting issues as well as the founder (I believe) of Focus on the Family. 95% of what I have heard him speak I typically agree with (morally, biblically, etc.) and he's an enjoyable speaker/writer. FOTF has a couple of podcasts that I download on iTunes for free and listen to on my ipod while I walk. They are such an encouragement to me as well as a good teacher. There is a podcast for marriage and one for parenting as well as an entire broadcast section of their website where you can find much more. They also have several newsletters that you can receive (email or paper) for free that focus on different age groups/issues (Parenting, Family, Marriage, Singles, Homosexual Issues, etc). And last but not least, they have an entire website devoted to reviews of tv, movies, games, etc. called Plugged In Online and do an awesome job, I think.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Ever since we returned from vacation last week, the weather has been nice enough to turn off the A/C and open the windows. For whatever reason, the wind hasn't been high enough to sound my wind chime on the front porch, at least not where I could hear it in my bedroom. Last night as I crawled into bed, for the first time in a long while I heard a tinkling of sound that flooded my mind with memories. After Randy and I first got married, I had yet to really begin and certainly finish my thesis for graduate school. So, through the fall and winter I battled with myself to buckle down and get things finished, all to the background music of my tinkling wind chime. Do you ever think of a day long past and then reflect on all the time that was spent (doing or not doing) on various things that didn't have to be? If I had started that project on that day, wouldn't I be finished by now? Or at least a whole lot further? Whereas now I have still yet to begin.
Next year, and only just (my birthday is Jan. 9), I will turn 30 and I guess its time to admit that I have learned a few things and made some life lesson mistakes in the last 3 decades. It seems like we put off the time when we can be considered someone to learn from, don't we? Well, I still live at home, or I'm not married yet or I don't have kids yet, etc., so I don't know as much as everyone else. I'm pretty sure that is some societal influence that doesn't hold much water. Sure, as you get older you learn more. That doesn't mean that there is nothing to be gained or learned in listening to someone who hasn't lived and done exactly what you have or more. I'm just sayin'.
Anyway, I have always longed for having everything 'together' before the next big thing. A fantasy of mine is to be completely organized before the next holiday, season, or chapter. Of course, that's silly. If you don't know that that is silly, consider it. You might grow by leaps and bounds overnight by accepting that fact. I think I did. I still want to clean my house before I really dive into anything else, but I've accepted the fact that I usually can't. Doesn't mean I don't clean my house, just means the world doesn't go on hold for my preference. What has been happening though is more things are getting done. Not sure if it was the 6 months of Lay-off Lessons or what, but ever since we returned from vacation I have been able to accomplish so much more than I have ever in my life. Seriously. I'm teaching piano and voice lessons. My house is consistently cleanER. I'm cooking more. I'm marking things off the list. I even cleaned out my inbox. Mostly its that I've gotten past the concept of 'I have to do this before I can do everything else'. Instead I just dive in where I'm at and get a whole lot more done because I'm not sitting around waiting for the perfect moment, circumstance or mood. And that makes me happy. Sort of like a personal goal or accomplishment that I never thought would be possible.
Of course, children change every routine ever created when they crash into the world, but the way I see it, the sooner I can accept that I just have to begin where I'm at, the easier transitioning to living with 'life changers' will be.