Me: “Someone made coffee?”
Me: “awww. You’re my favorite daughter!”
PinkGirl: “I would have preferred ‘favorite child.’”
FavoriteSon: “What do you want?”
FavroiteSon: “umm. hmm.”
I know I’m not your “fun” friend. I wouldn’t make a good Bunco buddy. I prefer conversation over television. And without exception, I will choose talking about your goals and ideas and struggles over spending two hours in a dark movie theater not talking at all. I know I’m not the first person you think of when you want to get together with someone and laugh your butt off. I know I’m not one of the friends you invite out for happy hour on girl’s night.
And I’m okay with that.
I would be completely miserable at happy hour.
For me, happy hour is like reading fiction. It’s a diversion from real life. And usually much too loud.
I can’t do it.
(I have my reasons, which I’ll get into in the next few posts, but let me start out by assuring you I’m not like this because I think I’m better than other people. You’ll see. I have “issues.”)
I know I’m different. Some would say, not normal. Some might say annoying. exasperating.
You either get used to me or you avoid me.
But when you need to talk, I’m the friend who wants to have coffee with you. I’m the friend who can handle hearing about the things that keep you awake at night. I’m the friend who wants to hear about the things that keep you awake at night. Without judgement. In confidence. And be prepared for me to pray for you. Right then and there. Out loud and in front of whoever happens to be looking. (well, not so loud I break a confidence)
Sure, we can talk about surface stuff; logistical stuff, like what mechanic we trust, what we love and hate about our phones and data plans, a good (but easy) recipe or maybe even gas prices.
but not for long.
I don’t have a lot of patience for surface talk. It’s like a magazine. Little chunks of uncommitted browsing.
I prefer books. I want to spend a little more time and dig deeper.
While there’s time. Because it’s later than I think.
FOLLOW-UP: Here are two of my “issues”:
Why I’m Not Your Fun Friend. Issue #1: Saturday Mornings
Why I’m Not Your Fun Friend. Issue #3: Death
Yesterday, I went back to yoga for the first time since tearing my MCL on December 2nd. My knee has been feeling pretty good, so I intentionally put on yoga shorts that morning. As the time to leave the house got closer, I debated. I was on a writing roll. If I stopped, I would lose momentum. and the coffee was so good. (Joffrey’s Jamaican Me Crazy)
LazyMe: “I don’t wanna go. I’m comfortable.”
AnnoyingMe: “Come on. After class is over, you’ll be glad you did it.”
AnnoyingMe: “What is it you always say? That you’re ‘striving to be a good steward of the body God has blessed you with?’”
LazyMe: ” It’s early. I’ve got all day. I can be a good steward later.”
AnnoyingMe: “Did you shave your legs for nothing?”
LazyMe: (sigh) “alright. I’m goin.”
Last night, I was really feeling the after-effects of this pose (below).
My whole body hurt – from holding it perfectly still for a total of just a few minutes.
Tonight, I’m feeling it even more.
There’s only one thing to do. Go back tomorrow.
I figure if Panera didn’t want me to monopolize booth #1, they shouldn’t have put a power outlet under my feet.
10:39am – At Panera Bread, trying to write instead of at home trying not to fall asleep or clean something. I’m supposed to be working on my book, but it seems that lyrics are sneaking out instead. We’ll see. I’ve got time to do both – PinkGirl has a 12 hour theater day.
11:39am – Crudola. Power supply at home. Battery has 2 hours and 40 minutes. Gonna try and bribe FavoritSon to bring it to me later. seriously. that’s not going to happen.
12:39pm – I’m attempting to bribe FavoriteSon with free Panera lunch. He and his dad think it’s “girl food” but I think he’ll do it anyway. The question is whether he’ll make it before my battery dies. 1 hour 42 minutes.
1:39pm – My son loves me. He just brought my laptop power supply to me at Panera Bread so I didn’t have to stop writing. And I didn’t even have to buy him lunch.
Let the monopolization of booth #1 continue.
10:00 a.m. - I have until tomorrow to submit lyrics & track for the two songs I will be recording on Friday night. As I listen to song after song after song, I’m praying that God would lead me to the two songs HE wants me to sing – to the lyrics & melody that He can use to reach someone who will be present in the recording session that night. I want more than a great session, I want to be an instrument of His grace.
10:36 a.m. - The songs I wanted to try don’t have tracks. Walking away from the computer – and the list of backup choices – to sit on the loveseat with a cup of coffee, my Bible and my prayer journal. I hope I can shut up long enough to hear what the Lord has to say about this.
PinkGirl did the writing on the sign in sheet at her school for me so I wouldn’t spread germs:
Time: 9:01 (school started at 8am)
Reason: “Mom is sick”
Disapproving look from temp worker at the front desk.
Me: “Be nice or I’ll hug you.” (to myself)
Doc: “When did this start?”
Me: Thursday night. Been living on Sudafed, Mucinex & leftover hydrocodone.”
Doc, laughing/shaking head: “You’re not supposed to tell me that.”
A few minutes later: “You need a shot. You’re wheezing.”
Today, I love that steroid shot more than coffee. not kidding.
Lord, thank you for my doctor. Thank you for that relationship. You sent me to him so long ago that I forget to appreciate that blessing. Thank you for all the free and affordable medicine – and for the steroid shot.
For the next few days, the acronym “LOL” will be replaced with “COL” because lately, the first doesn’t come without the second.
PinkGirl: Mom, what does “COL” mean?
Me: Coughing Out Loud, because when I laugh, I start coughing.
PinkGirl: “You should just say LOL.”
Me: “Yesterday you told me I was too OLD to use LOL.”
PinkGirl: “Well, old people can use it in private.”
Me: “How old does someone have to be before they should only use LOL in private?”
what the heck? I took some of the samples my doctor gave me for symptoms and within the hour I felt like a complete space cadet. The decongestant was phenylephrine. I usually take pseudoephedrine. I may be wrong & my symptoms were the cause of the lightheadedness, so I’m going to take the next dose – with supervision.
(I really, really needed a decongestant. The effects of the sauna wore off too fast and my neti pot wasn’t even working. Benadryl is an antihistamine containing diphenhydramine – which is also the main ingredient in TylenolPM, Nytol, Sominex…KNOCKS me out. TylenolPM dosage says take two, I can never handle more than half of ONE. I was taking Mucinex for the chest congestion.)
Lord, thank you for this day of rest. Please help me to get better so I can get back to “real” life.
I changed my mind. FirstHusband says I shouldn’t take any more phenylephrine. He said we had a phone conversation earlier today and I was really “out of it.” (I think I remember talking to him…)
Nobody called me today and asked me to volunteer for anything did they?
Lord, even in my tiredness and with all these nasty germs, please show me how I can serve you today.
PinkGirl: “MOM! The duck came SO close to me this time!”
Me: “Did you feed it?”
PinkGirl: “Yeh, cat food.”
Me: “wait. have you been throwing cat food in the back yard?”
Me: “For how long?”
PinkGirl: “a week. maybe two.”
NOW I know what the raccoons are digging for and eating every night.
okay, I have a new game for the Easter Bunny Cake blog post of 2009.
Will it beat its own record?
The highest number of views it got in a single day was 3,709 on April 3, 2010, which was ONE day before Easter last year. Today it got 2,135 views.
eBay sent me a “Happy Anniversary” email today. Eleven years and they can’t spare a coupon code? At the very least they could have made it fun and included the item titles of the very first things I bought and sold.
Later…Obviously, I don’t watch TV when I’m sick. I hang out on the internet and search my email archive file for my very first eBay auction win: A Mr. Potato Head Voice Changing Recorder. eh. big whoop.
My daughter felt compelled to show me this video today:
PinkGirl’s 4th grade class went on a field trip to St. Augustine today and I had to drive because she was in a charity performance for Toys for Tots tonight and she had to be at the theater earlier than the bus was returning.
I think I’m all set and then, last night around 6pm, one of the teachers sent out an email:
“If chaperones want to drive we can’t stop you; however it is a big problem in that the trolley tour that leaves from the Old Jail does not return there. It drops us off at the fort, and you will not be able to get back to your car.”
So I Googled St. Augustine and found a map From the fort to the Old Jail . . . it didn’t seem that far to me, but I didn’t know, so I emailed the teacher back:
“What are my options if I need to get PinkGirl back early? From your email, it sounds like driving my own vehicle would leave me stranded. I’ve never been to St. Augustine and it sounds like you know the ropes. Any suggestions?”
His reply, at 6:16 this MORNING:
“I am sure there are a few parents driving. Maybe you can catch a ride back to the jail or miss the trolley tour and just drive from the jail to the fort. Parking for the fort is at the welcome center across the street. Sorry, but there is no easy way that I know of.”
I’m thinking, they all sound like easy ways to me, unless you can’t WALK. I’m thinking all my treadmill time has prepared me for this. Little did I know.
So PinkGirl rides the cool bus with TVs to St. Augustine and I drive my van and park at the Old Jail with all the other parents who drove. We tour the Museum (GREAT tour guide) and the Old Jail. Here’s my facebook posts during the tour of the Old Jail:
“Trying to stand where the authoritarian tour guide tells us to stand. Got in trouble 3 times already.”
“Got in trouble with the cranky tourguide again. Now I’m standing as far back as I can to listen to the tour guide behind me. He’s funnier.”
oh. she was bossy. FirstHusband says I have a problem with authority. I say I just tend to ignore bossy people.
But here’s where it all started to go downhill fast. While we were in the Old Jail, it started raining. Did I mention it was COLD? I was wearing three layers and leather gloves. PinkGirl is wearing two layers and gloves, but she’s running around more. And then it started raining.
We had lunch on a small porch. All three 4th grade classes and a bunch of parents.
Then on to the trolley ride. So NOW we’re all in an open trolley, in the cold, in the rain and traveling at least 30 miles per hour.
By the time the tour was finished 45 minutes later, we were soaked and very, Very, VERY cold. And we had 45 minutes of “free time” until the tour of the fort. The mom I was hanging with was on a quest for coffee and I was right there with her. I hate shopping as it is and there was NO way I was going to shop while I was soaking wet.
After a latte for me and a hot chocolate for PinkGirl ($9.00), we walked to the fort and stood around waiting for that tour to begin. In the rain. I asked our tour guide about options to get back to our vehicles at the Old Jail and he quickly pointed out the trolley stop right in front of the fort. Supposedly, the trolley schedule was every 15 minutes.
So PinkGirl goes on the fort tour with her class in the care of my fellow coffee lovin mom and I walk over to the trolley stop with two other moms to wait. and wait. and wait.
Forget it. It’s RAINING and I’m freezing and if I’m going to be in the rain, I’m NOT going to stand still while I’m getting soaked. I’m at LEAST going to be moving toward my destination. We were decked out in some seriously attractive complementary rain ponchos from the trolley company, so my thought was that if we saw a trolley coming our way, we would look pitiful and step out into the middle of the street and flag… okay, maybe not. But the “look pitiful” part worked after we walked about a half a mile. Since the rain ponchos were covered in the trolley company logo, a BUS driver (NOT a trolley, but a WARM, ENCLOSED BUS) pulled to a stop right in the middle of the road and opened the door.
My favorite person of the day, and I don’t even know his name.
I get the van, drive it back to the fort and go looking for our group. They are on TOP of the fort, overlooking the water. And now it’s cold and raining and WINDY.
This is not my happy day.
PinkGirl, however is having a GREAT time. weirdo.
But the SECOND the tour is over, she says, “Mom, can we go now?
Oh, honey, you do NOT have to ask me twice. I have a vehicle and I’m not afraid to use it. We were outta there so fast! A quick pit stop at McDonalds and we were on the road. PinkGirl fell asleep within 20 minutes and stayed asleep till we got off the highway in our little hometown, about an hour and a half later.
My next facebook update:
“I dont know how PinkGirl is even still standing, much less performing in a show tonight. We had to be at school at 6:30 am, we spent most of the day freezing and soaking wet and she fell asleep in the van on the way home from St. Augustine. Her dad had to carry her into the house so she could change clothes for the show. She’s sleeping in tomorrow, I can feel it.”
“PinkGirl just got home from the show – she is TOTALLY wired. But when she crashes, it’s going to look like this. (at the 2:43 mark)”
Summer equals FRAGMENTATION.
Fragmented tasks evidenced by piles of stuff in multiple locations waiting for returned attention. Fragmented thoughts evidenced by the blank stare on my face and the inability to stay on topic in any conversation lasting longer than . . . oh! I forgot to mention, our house took a little jolt of lightening the Thursday before last! We lost two TVs, the cordless phone base and our alarm system. I ordered a cordless phone base from eBay on Friday for only $30 including shipping, and by Monday all the phones were working again. We got a new TV that Saturday (with extended warranty and lightning coverage) and the alarm system was repaired for FREE on Tuesday. Less than a week and everything was back to normal! Thank you GOD! That was easy!
… what was I talking about? Oh yeah. fragmented thoughts. Prayer is fragmented in the summer too. My prayer journal is missing some dates and I haven’t spent enough time sitting in my Bible study spot to finish even one cup of coffee while reading. Summer also reinforces my personal rule that NONE of the coffee mugs I own can have any metal on them at all. It sparks in the microwave when I nuke my coffee. And ya know I haven’t finished a cup of coffee without warming it up – sometimes multiple times – since May.
Summer leaves me stealing fragmented patches of solitude, so I’m feeling a little Brother Lawrence coming on even more than usual:
“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”
And I’m reading this book (in fragmented bits of time, of course), “A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer:” by cheri fuller (I know, i’m typing in all lower case, but that’s what the book cover uses and if you’ve been around here before, I kinda prone to lowercase myself.)
“Prayer is integration, not separation.”
Love that. I’m struggling to carve out time to separate myself and spend dedicated, uninterrupted time with God. It’s not happening every day, but I can integrate prayer into my day – all day long – every day. I’ve talked about this before – seasons of prayer life.
Summer is definitely a season.
When I have spent dedicated time with God, I’ve been praying that he would help me find more. God answers prayer.
On Sunday, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning.
I didn’t want to pray at 4:30 in the morning. I wanted to sleep. And I told God exactly that. I asked him to please let me sleep. He said no. So at 5:00 a.m., I gave him an ultimatum. Yes, I did. I told him that if I was still awake at 5:15 a.m. I would go downstairs and spend time with Him. Just us. Ya know I was still awake fifteen minutes later.
So I went downstairs and spent some time praying and reading. I had picked up a book at a garage sale the day before, Lifestories: Finding God’s Voice of Truth Through Everyday Life by Mark Hall (the lead singer of Casting Crowns) and I spent some time reading and reflecting and writing in my prayer journal.
At 6 a.m. I found myself thinking, “oh! I only have an hour left before I have to get in the shower!” After weeks of fragmented quiet time with God and striving to practice the presence of God in my everyday moments and thoughts, I got a rare hour and forty-five minutes with Him. When I finally had to stop, the thought that came to me? “I can’t believe I wasted 45 minutes trying to sleep.
“Being kind is definitely something I struggle with. Not with the rest of the world, but with my own children. I get impatient, frustrated, short-tempered and unkind. And I really SO do not want to be that mom. I am praying now for a gentle spirit. I’ve always admired women who have that….godly women that love the Lord and seem to just live and breathe Proverbs 31. Believe me, my children don’t, as a rule, arise and call me blessed.”
My daughter sure as heck doesn’t arise and call me blessed. Often, she’s a crank in the morning until after we give her some orange juice or Ovaltine and her blood sugar levels out. We OFTEN wake her up with a no-spill sippy cup in our hand. (Try it, you might be amazed at the difference in your kiddo’s morning attitude and cooperation.)
I write about my parenting strategies and my perspective, and it may seem like I’m getting it right, but I need to clarify. I fall off the “good mom” wagon all the time. I just get back on as fast as I can. AND, I used to fall off MUCH more often when my kids were home with me 24-7. AND I know some of the reasons why.
PinkGirl and I have our moments. MOST of the time, I can give her grace when she has a blood sugar dip and starts crying for no apparent reason. But sometimes, I find myself asking her, “WHY are you crying NOW?” and saying my standard, “Handle this differently” or “Solve your problem.” in a frustrated, impatient tone of voice instead of my encouraging, reminder voice. Sometimes, when she is “disagreeable,” I completely forget to calculate when she ate last and I react with what is to me, a lack of empathy and a toneless voice. What SHE sees is a mom “who doesn’t care about me when I’m upset!” (and she tells me exactly that.) Instead of responding with grace and providing her a complex carb/protein combo before continuing in a reasonable conversation with her, I react immediately and escalate the situation. The whole episode steals time and energy and peace from our day. It’s a waste. And I know it. I don’t like it. So I try to take my own advice and “Solve my problem” by “handling things differently.”
When find myself impatient or frustrated with my kids, I start by looking for the root causes so I can fix my real problem. Physiological, psychological, spiritual . . . I always start with the physiological. (I’ve got my fair share of problems, but today I’m only focusing on ONE of the the physical problems.) I do a little self-check.
- Am I tired?
- Am I hungry?
- Is my iron low because I keep forgetting to take that stupid pill?
- Am I in pain from my stupid neck/shoulder?
Until I “fix” these physical issues I can’t consistently parent intentionally or well. Unfortunately, “fixing” isn’t an instantaneous, one time thing. Often I have to make consistent changes over time to completely get RID of these problems rather than just trying to manage them. If I’m not careful, I could end up like this: (the first two minutes)
But back to fixing my (physical) problems and handling things differently. Let’s start with “tired.”
I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep. Sometimes I don’t get enough sleep. So I’ve made a few changes:
- First, I now take Ambien when I need it. Not every day – only when I can’t get to sleep. I started with Tylenol PM. One was too much. Half was just enough. When both my GP and my GYN heard I was taking it, they both suggested Ambien instead. I started with 10mg control release. Too much. I need to wake up when a kid needs me. Then I went with the regular 10mg. Too much. Drowsy the next morning. I now take 5mg.
- I also intentionally GO TO BED earlier. Sometimes (not often) as early as 10:00 p.m. I’m a night owl. Sometimes I’m not sleepy at 10:00 p.m. If I can’t get to sleep, I take some Ambien. My goal is to go to bed the same day I wake up instead of wake up the same day I go to bed.
- When I read in bed, I only read fiction. I don’t need to be learning when I’m trying to calm my mind. Even when I read a devotional, I find my brain ramping up when it should be ramping down. To make sure I don’t slip up, I don’t keep any non-fiction books in the bedroom.
- The low iron can make me weak and tired too, so I take a prescription iron supplement. (But I’m fixing that too.)
- No coffee after 1:00 p.m. or so. Enough said.
- Back when PinkGirl was a baby, I would nap when she napped. I read this over and over again when FavoriteSon was a baby and I rarely followed the advice. When PinkGirl was born, I was older, with more on my plate and more tired. I kinda had no choice.
- Sometimes it was the kid’s sleep cycles that threw a wrench in mine. When a kid won’t go to sleep or wakes up in the middle of the night, what are you going to do? Sleep anyway? Not likely. I’ll write another post on overcoming kid sleep problems. We had to do that too.
- I removed things from my “To Do” list. Some jobs get harder the longer they are delayed. Like dishes and laundry. But some jobs take the same amount of time and effort each time you do them, regardless of whether you last did them yesterday or last week. Like vacuuming, cleaning the toilet or dusting. So my house wasn’t up to white glove standards. big whoop.
So, given my history and challenges, I have a question for moms like Tina and I who sometimes get, as Tina put it, “impatient, frustrated, short-tempered and unkind:”
What kind of sleep are you getting? Supposedly, a sleep cycle is 90 minutes. I know that when my sleep is fragmented or I don’t get enough of it, I’m predisposed to a lack of patience and frustration. It doesn’t take much to push me off the “good mom” wagon.
Yes, when I get more sleep, my day is shorter. I have less time to accomplish all the things I “need” to. But when I get more (and better) sleep, my day – and my family’s day – is BETTER. And all those things I “need” to do? Some get done. Some don’t. Some jobs I keep doing. Some jobs FirstHusband handles. Some jobs the kids take care of. Some I decide not to do anymore.
You CAN change your situation. Even minor changes can add up. We have choices to make every day. When you say to yourself, “I HAVE to do (insert urgent, important task here).” Rethink it. Do you? What’s the worst thing that would happen if you didn’t? What things can you let go of? What things can you allow others to take responsibility for? Maybe the person who picks up your slack doesn’t do things exactly like you would. Is it THAT important that something be done your way?
I used to think I had no choices. But I was confusing “no choice” with “difficult choice.”
Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer
Shannon, over at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a themed edition of Works for Me Wednesday. Today is all about kitchen organization! Since it’s Whale of a Sale time and I’m sorting hundreds of books and alphabetizing by author until I literally can’t remember how to spell, I’m maximizing my time (cheating) and highlighting previous posts about my kitchen.
My favorites are:
the good, the bad and the ugly (kitchen cabinets)
veggie box (our key to 5 minute meal preps)
five minute sink (two of my biggest strategies for getting things DONE.)
lunchbox flatware (no more missing place settings)
I’m cheating a little bit this week by extracting this “Kitchen Tip” from within another post. It originally appeared as part of my response to a book study of The Excellent Wife, Chapter Eight, The Wife’s Domain, hosted by Leslie at Lux Venit.
Being “freakishly organized,” I followed the Underwear Principle and created a coffee “station” with all the supplies needed for coffee located in one spot. It’s a tiny bit of counter space next to the stove and it’s where we keep EVERYthing coffee related. (Thanks for the coffee pot recommendation, Lisa Writes!)
The three cannisters hold creamer, Benefiber and Splenda. We used to keep all that inside the cabinet above, but they were annoying to access. I picked clear glass cannisters so we could tell at a glance when they were running low and we now keep them on the counter because it’s the most convenient. When we remember, we add Benefiber to our coffee. It’s a simple way to sneak in extra fiber. We can’t taste it and it doesn’t change the consistency of the coffee at all.
In the cabinet above are the coffee mugs, travel mugs, coffee filters and creamer refill. I bought identical plastic containers to store coffee in the freezer door (right behind this spot) and marked one of them “decaf.” I even decorated this area by purchasing multi-opening frames, finding, typing and printing coffee and tea “quotes” on pretty card stock and framing each one.
One of my favorite quotes is: “A man without a mustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.” (FirstHusband has had a mustache since I’ve met him.)
I especially love the quote by Cher in Moonstruck: “You make good coffee . . . you’re a slob, but you make good coffee.”
(Please forgive the sideways photo.)
It’s very handy to have everything in one place. It’s easy for guests too. When I host my ladies circle, I set my “backup” coffee pot (with decaf) on the flat stove top, right next to the main coffee maker.
This post is part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays over at Tammy’s Recipes. Check it out!
Chapter 8 of the Excellent Wife by author Martha Peace is entitled, “Home, The Wife’s Domain.” You can read it online HERE. Check out Leslie’s summary for a more complete overview of the chapter. I’ll cite some content, but Leslie always does a more complete (and objective) summary before moving on to her commentary.
I’m really trying to read this with an open mind, but I honestly admit, I have what, in communication theory is called a “latitude of rejection.” There are three “latitudes” when it comes to persuasion and the acceptance of ideas:
A latitude of acceptance is when you have a preexisting tendency to accept an idea.
A latitude of non-commitment is when you have no preexisting thoughts on the matter, thus no leaning towards acceptance or rejection.
A latitude of rejection is when you have a preexisting tendency to reject an idea.
My latitude of rejection is based on the fact that, in the early years of our marriage, FirstHusband and I, surrounded by Baptist doctrine, sorted many of these issues out ourselves. Actually, to be more accurate, FirstHusband (a preacher’s kid) had already sorted out much of what he believed about the wife’s role before we were together. He just had to help me to understand it. He told me the beginning of his perspective. When he was a teenager, his conservative Baptist church hired a husband and wife youth minister team. The wife was intelligent, articulate, engaging and a gifted speaker. The husband . . . looked good. (FirstHusband used the word “Himbo.”) The church had a difficult time letting the woman take the lead she was naturally gifted to take. They preferred the husband take the lead, even though he was a terrible speaker and was (in FirstHusband’s word) stupid. FirstHusband spent a lot of time in the Bible researching whether God really expected this bright, articulate, gifted person to stop serving God in this situation, just because she was a woman. I asked FirstHusband if he had a crush on this woman and he said, “No. I really respected her and thought she got a bum deal. Besides, she had red hair.” (Red hair confirms it – no crush. No offense red-headed readers, but FirstHusband is not attracted to red heads.)
I also taught (and graded papers for) business and professional communication at UCF for 7 years. My experience as a teacher steers me toward the holes in Mrs. Peace’s research and drives me to find support for her declarative statements. When I can’t find that support, the declarative statement loses it’s meaning.
I’m also struggling to figure out how to explain myself without sounding like I’m a heathen or that I think I’m exempt from the Bible’s instructions. I promise I’m neither. I just believe that if we, as humans are actively involved in a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and we actively seek to know and live within His moral will through the wisdom found in His Word, we will actively strive to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him and that glorifies Him. That “way” often looks very different from person to person, from marriage to marriage and from family to family. I believe “different” isn’t “wrong” – if it’s within the moral will of God. If someone doesn’t agree with my point of view, I don’t perceive them to be “out of the will of God” or sinful. I believe it’s okay to agree to disagree. I believe Christians have more in common than not. I want to focus on the stuff we have in common, rather than debate the few things we may see differently.
If we spend time in prayer, not only talking, but “abiding” then we will have a peace and understanding of how we are to order our lives. To come back to the topic of this chapter – and this book in general, we do need to be confident that the way we conduct ourselves as Christian wives is supportive of our husbands. We need to be confident that our husbands feel respected, needed and appreciated. I just don’t always agree with Mrs. Peace on how I should accomplish that. At the end of the day, it’s my HUSBAND’s opinion as to whether I’m accomplishing those goals that’s important to me.
For instance, it’s Memorial Day. FirstHusband isn’t on travel and he isn’t at work. He’s making pancakes. Right now. While I’m sitting on the couch typing this. Let me ask him why he’s doing that.
“Hey hon, why are you making pancakes?”
L O N G pause.
“I mean, are you making pancakes because I don’t?”
“No. I don’t think of it that way. I just do it for the kids because they like it.”
“Do you wish I would make pancakes sometimes?”
“No. Not necessarily.”
“Why? Would it take away from your “thing?”
“No. I don’t think of it that way. I don’t mind if you want to make pancakes.”
See how pointless this is? He’s making pancakes because he wants to. Sometimes a guy just isn’t all that deep.
Does the fact that he’s cooking while I’m sitting mean I’m not exemplifying an “Excellent Wife?” What about the fact that he just brought me a cup of coffee, creamed and sweetened just the way I like? What does that mean? In our house, it just means that he was already fixing himself a cup and it was no big deal. He wanted to do something nice for me. Sometimes guys just aren’t that deep.
Now, he did use the coffee pot I picked out. (Thanks for the referral, Lisa Writes!) He got the creamer and the sweetener out of cannisters I picked out and placed in their current location. I picked those particular cannisters and placed them in their location in an effort to be organized and make them convenient. Using the Underwear Principle, I actually created a coffee “station” with all the supplies needed for coffee located in one spot.
In the cabinet above are the coffee mugs, travel mugs, coffee filters and creamer refill. I bought identical plastic containers to store coffee in the freezer door (right behind this spot) and marked one of them “decaf.” I even decorated this area by purchasing multi-opening frames, finding, typing and printing coffee and tea “quotes” on pretty card stock and framing each one. (Please forgive the sideways photo.) One of the quotes says, “A man without a mustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.” (He’s had a mustache since I’ve met him.)
I did this for him. For me. For us.
At the end of the day, I’m me. I have to live with me. I have to live authentically. For me, that means I have to go back to the Bible on all this. I’m seeking Biblical wisdom. I’m learning. I believe this book is prompting me to learn. What I’m doing here is documenting my learning process, probably more for myself than for anyone who happens upon these posts. So, fully aware of my latitude of rejection, here goes.
Chapter 8 begins with a description of two very different women, Tracy and Stacy. Two polar opposites. Both examples are extreme. Tracy sounds like a “pleaser” who can’t say no because she desperately wants people to like her and she’s probably headed for collapse due to exhaustion. Stacy sounds clinically depressed and should go to the doctor for a full physical exam. The thing is, in my circle of friends and acquaintances, most of the women I know don’t fit in either example. Most of the women I know are significantly more balanced than either of these women. I personally can’t relate to the examples. I don’t identify with Tracy or Stacy. So, if Mrs. Peace is saying that Christian wives should NOT be like either of these women, then check. I’m good so far.
Mrs. Peace follows with the statement:
“A godly wife is organized and works hard to operate her home with the least possible chaos. She also creates an optimistic, joyful atmosphere for her family.”
Still okay. But I can substitute “godly wife” with “good wife” and still agree.
Then comes a declarative statement:
“God has always intended for the home to be the wife’s domain.”
Here’s the thing. I probably agree with that. If we define it the same. But do we? To what extent is “the home to be the wife’s domain?” To the exclusion of what else? This is the crux of it for me. To the exclusion of what else?
As Biblical support for her statement, “God has always intended for the home to be the wife’s domain.” Mrs. Peace quotes only the “verses that pertain to the home” in Proverbs 31. She says that “out of twenty two verses, nine refer directly to her work in the home.” Less than half.
Let’s take these one by one, and I’m going to type EXACTLY what Mrs. Peace quotes here:
“She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight…” (Proverbs 31:13)
She works hard and enjoys her work. I can’t find anything to indicate this refers “directly” to her work in the home.
“She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens…” (Proverbs 31:15)
Now here’s something I never knew before. “portions” to her maidens. I always read that in a very straightforward way. I thought portions meant percentage. I thought she gave her maidens “portions” of food. Here’s what www.blueletterbible.org says about the meaning of the word “portions.” The Hebrew word is “choq” and it means:
1) statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, due
a) prescribed task
b) prescribed portion
c) action prescribed (for oneself), resolve
d) prescribed due
e) prescribed limit, boundary
f) enactment, decree, ordinance
1) specific decree
2) law in general
g) enactments, statutes
4) civil enactments prescribed by God
Now see, THIS is why I’m still reading this book. I’m glad I learned that. Mrs. Peace didn’t teach it to me, but if I didn’t doubt her proper application of scripture, I would have NEVER looked up each individual word in this verse. I never knew the Proverbs 31 woman wasn’t feeding her servants. She was giving them their assignments for the day. (I just told FirstHusband that if he really loved me, he would get me some maidens and he said I have to go do some sort of honorable work near the town gate and make sure everyone knows how great he is first. Bummer.)
“She considers a field and buys it, from her earnings she plants a vineyard…” (Proverbs 31:16)
This is straightforward. She buys a field and plants a vineyard. I really don’t understand how this is “directly” related to work at home. It sounds like she’s an entrepreneur. Unless the vineyard is near her home and the grapes (and wine?) will only be consumed by her household and not sold. In my understanding, this verse doesn’t relate “directly” to her work at home at all.
“her lamp does not go out at night…” (Proverbs 31:18)
Now this is why I’m double checking Mrs. Peace’s application of scripture. She left out the first half this verse. Here’s verse 18 in its entirety:
“She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.”
Now why omit the first part of the verse? I’m off to http://www.blueletterbible.org to find out what it means. The verse used there is in the King James Version:
“She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.”
Back over to blueletterbible to look up “trading” or “merchandise.” The Hebrew word is “cachar” and the Outline of Biblical Usage reads:
“1) traffic, gain, profit, gain from merchandise”
This part of the verse definitely doesn’t seem to relate “directly” to work at home.
Then I looked up the part of the verse Mrs. Peace DID quote here. I looked up the word “candle” or “lamp.” The Hebrew word is “niyr” and the Gesenius’s Lexicon Help reads:
“a lamp, always used figuratively of progeny.”
and then there’s text I can’t type due to keyboard limitations, followed by a reference to 1 Kings 11:36, “that David my servant might always have a lamp,” i.e. that his race might continue for ever; and notes to compare its use to 1 Kings 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19, and 2 Chronicles 21:7.
Figuratively? I never read that “figuratively” before. I took it literally. Lamp. Candle. Didn’t go out at night.
I need some commentary on the “figurative” use of this word, so I pick one on blueletterbible. A. R. FAUSSET says:
“17, 18. To energy she adds a watchfulness in bargains, and a protracted and painful industry. The last clause may figuratively denote that her prosperity (compare Pro 24:20 ) is not short lived.” (emphasis added)
Interesting. Totally NOT what I thought. Very cool! Thanks to Mrs. Peace again for prompting me to look up each word in this verse – even the part she omitted. Unfortunately, her application of this verse – that it refers “directly” to a woman’s work at home – isn’t supported.
“She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle…” (Proverbs 31:19)
This one seems pretty straightforward and let me just say, THANK YOU to Samuel Slater.
“…all her household are clothed with scarlet…” (Proverbs 31:21)
ewwww. I really didn’t need to know where the dye came from. But here she takes care of her family’s wardrobe. DIRECTLY related to her work at home!
“She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple…”
She dresses well, and makes her own clothes. I can’t sew. I do not believe my inability to sew means I’m failing my family or God. When the literal translation doesn’t fit today’s culture, I look for intent. My clothes look nice, they fit and they are reasonably priced. I just buy my clothes instead of make them. Often second hand or at Ross. So is this verse “directly” related to the Proverbs 31 woman’s work at home? Sure, why not?
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the Tradesmen…” (Proverbs 31:24)
I don’t understand how this is “directly” related to her work at home. She’s an entrepreneur.
“She looks well to the ways of her house, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)
DIRECTLY related to her work at home!
So I found three verses, not nine. But I learned that I need some maidens and was reminded that my prosperity is not short-lived. Good Bible study. Overall, time well spent.
Back to Mrs. Peace:
“The excellent wife’s home-based ministry does not apply just to King Solomon’s day, but to our day, as well. The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus about this very issue.
Older women (are to) teach what is good…that they may encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands… (Titus 2:3-5)”
Then Mrs. Peace gives some Biblical support! She notes that “worker at home” is translated from “oikourgos” and says that the word is derived from two root words, “oikos” which means “a dwelling, a home or a household” and “ergon” which means “to work or be employed.” But http://www.blueletterbible.org says that the second root word for “oikourgos” is “ouros.” Not “ergon.” So I look up both.
ergon does mean “business, employment, that which any one is occupied” but is it a root of oikourgos?
ouros means “a guard”
So while the definition of “ergon” is correct, where did Mrs. Peace get “ergon” as a root of oikourgos? She follows by explaining that a “worker at home” is someone who guards the dwelling or is a keeper of the household – which is the definition of “ouros.”
So I’m confused. What is she saying? How does “ergon” fit with “guards the dwelling?” She used one definition and supported it with the meaning of another. Did I mention I was confused?
It seems there’s a discrepancy as to the second root word. I’m going to break it down and follow the bread crumbs:
“urgos” is the word I want to understand.
Some sources indicate it is a form of “ouros” i.e. “keeper,” – which more accurately means someone who is watching over something or being a guardian.
A form of.
Some sources indicate “urgos” is derived from the root word “ergon” which means “work,” “employment,” or “task.”
I understand that the Bible COMPLETELY reveals the moral will of God. I get that. But there’s a problem. For like . . . EVER, people have been using passages to support their premise and point of view. There will ALWAYS be disagreement, even among Christians, as to the specific directives found there.
So which translation is correct? A FORM of the word or another word from which it is DERIVED? This is why I will never go to seminary.
I’m cheating. Someone else must have done this research. After a little searching, I did find an interesting post which specifically addresses the translation of oikourgos. Here are some snippets:
“Oikourgos is a compound based on the word oikos, “house”. It is translated as if it was a noun (many Greek nouns end in -os). However, the -os noun ending is masculine. Since in this context it is referring to women, the masculine ending would not be correct. Therefore we know that the word is not a noun. Instead, the ending is actually a different suffix: -os in its usage as an adjective-forming verbal suffix.
The KJV translators saw the word oikourgos as a noun, and since it was describing a person, they took it to mean a certain type of person. Since oikos means “house” and urgos (a form of ouros) comes from a root meaning “to keep”, they translated it in the KJV as “keepers at home”.
Oiko-, as you should remember from the above explanation, means house. The form -urgos, a form of ouros, means “to keep”. In the case of compound words, it means “taking care to keep something (in good condition)”. The entire word, oikourgos, then means “mindful (or careful) to keep their houses in good condition”.
You decide for yourself. As for me and my house? I’m going with “ouros” and I’m going to be mindful to keep my house in good condition.
Forgive me if I don’t track down the meaning of “oikodespoteo” as Mrs. Peace uses it with regard to keeping widows of trouble and preserving their reputation. I’m just too tired.
But back to the term “worker at home.” I have a few questions? What about children? The two verses quoted here, Titus 2:3-5 includes “to love their children” and 1 Timothy 5:14 includes “bear children.” What does Mrs. Peace say about raising children in this chapter? Not very much:
” . . . but I do believe that God intended for the women, especially the younger women, to stay home and do a good job of caring for their homes and for their families. A wife who is gone with too many activities or work does not have the time nor energy to keep her home as it should be kept.
If a wife is working or is thinking of returning to work, she should examine her motives. What is it she really wants? What is her heart set on? Is it to avoid becoming a “non-person?” Is it more material things? Is it wanting to be out from under the demands of child care? Is it to relieve her husband from his responsibility to work? None of these motives are for the glory of God. They are self-serving and sinful. Godly motives would be “learning to be content” (Philippians 4:11), “gratitude to the Lord for what she does have” (I Thessalonians 5:18), and “whatever you do in thought, word, and deed, do all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). Staying at home and organizing a clean, well run household is a major biblical emphasis in the God-given ministry of the wife.(emphasis added)
It’s the declarative statement I’m having trouble with. Staying at home and organizing a clean, well run household is a major biblical emphasis in the God-given ministry of the wife? “Major biblical emphasis” is some fairly strong language. Are the verses she quotes here the “major biblical emphasis” which support this statement? I don’t see the connection. Doesn’t the “God-given ministry of the wife” include raising her (and her husband’s) children?
I’m left wondering because there’s no more on this. Mrs. Peace moves on:
“Many times, if a couple did an honest appraisal of the wife’s income, and looked at how much they spent on transportation, child care, taxes, clothing, lunches out, dinners out, and increased grocery bills due to buying prepared foods, the couple would likely see that they are actually losing money. How much wiser might it be for her to stay home and care for her family!”
Now HERE I agree with Mrs. Peace. I actually drafted this part of the post earlier in the week and stopped to write another, entitled “to work or not to work, that is the question.“
Then Mrs. Peace throws out a question.
“What if a husband instructs a wife to work? Is she to be submissive?”
Her answer makes me very, Very, VERY uncomfortable:
“Yes, unless she can show him that she would be sinning by working. It would be sinful for her to financially support her husband so that he could be irresponsible or lazy. Instead, she should take advantage of the biblical resources God has given to protect her.”
Why is the assumption that a man without a job is “irresponsible” or “lazy?” There are other possibilities. He might be an excellent family manager and caregiver to their children. What if she had a higher earning power? What about “unless the wife can show him that she would be sinning by working?” How would she do that? This is the most disturbing part of the answer for me. That she should “take advantage” of the “biblical resources” God has given to protect her. Is this using the Bible as a weapon? As a tool to manipulate? That’s a fine line I don’t want to walk.
Christians have been using the Bible – in and out of context – since forEVER to prove their point. (Did I say this before?) Each side using words like Mrs. Peace uses when she says, “Common sense would dictate . . . ” The problem is that my “common sense” doesn’t lead me to the same conclusions as Mrs. Peace. Now what? What happens when a husband and wife come to different conclusions? What if the wife believes she is sinning by working and her husband doesn’t? She should submit? But she should live in sin? In Chapter Two of Excellent Wife, Mrs. Peace says God’s authority overrides the husband’s authority. This reasoning is a circle.
I’m going to skip the part where Mrs. Peace believes the church has a responsibility to help a woman to be able to stay at home with her children if her husband were to die. In today’s culture, that’s not the norm.
Then Mrs. Peace relates some practical housekeeping tips that have obviously worked for her. Take what you can use, but since these aren’t biblical directives, no condemnation for not employing any of them. I agree 100% with the premise that “A little bit of prior planning makes all the difference in the world.”
Finally, there’s the “Lazy Person” vs. “Self-Disciplined Person” comparison chart on page 75. If you recognize yourself as a “Lazy Person” make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Make sure you are physically and mentally healthy. If you believe you may be a “Perfectionist,” please consider counseling. Whose expectations are you trying to meet? Are you a product of “conditional” love? Before you assume sin, rule out health related possibilities.
Lazy? Perfectionist? Maybe. Maybe not.
When I wrote the post entitled The Underwear Principle and now, underwear. step by step., I mentioned that I had applied this principle in other situations in my life. One of those situations involved my son.
FavoriteSon attended a Montessori pre-school from age three to five. The Montessori philosophy encourages independent work and allows the students to physically move around the classroom during the day. The “lessons” are clearly defined as separate activities with very specific, step by step instructions which follow the “left to right” and “top to bottom” concept employed by reading. The classroom was lined with low shelves on which sat rows of restaurant trays. On each tray were most, if not all the components of each lesson. It was the perfect learning environment for FavoriteSon at the time. (There’s a lot more to the Montessori philosophy, but I’ve covered what relates to the background of my situation.)
When it came time for 1st grade, we moved FavoriteSon to a traditional classroom environment at a non-denominational Christian school and it quickly became apparent that he was having a difficult time making the adjustment.
Someone, I don’t remember who, used the term “ADD.”
So I applied the The Underwear Principle:
Step 1: I didn’t approach the situation from any pre-conceived notion of how things “should” be. I opened my mind to the possibility that I DIDN’T KNOW what the problem was. I didn’t assume that my current knowledge and past experiences were enough to lead me to a conclusion, a diagnosis, a punishment strategy, or a resolution. I admitted that the “answer” might be different than anything I could think up on my own. Even worse, I had to consider the possibility that my parenting style was influencing the situation as well. (yeah. not liking that idea.)
Step 2: I tried to stay focused on the fact that my little boy wanted to learn. He wanted to behave appropriately. I understood that he was faced with an obstacle he couldn’t overcome without our help. We didn’t punish him or lecture him. We didn’t want him to feel defeated by school in the first grade.
Step 3: I analyzed what was happening. I took into account as much information as I could – the actual behaviors, the time of day, any possible cause and effect or trigger, his seating assignment – if there was ANY information available, I wanted to include it in my analysis.
The classroom layout was structured and decorated very differently from what he had experienced before, with the “lines” for each learning activity now blurred. There were no more distinct, individual tasks or lessons. Rather, unrelated information surrounded him on every wall. Not only was FavoriteSon no longer encouraged to move around the classroom during the day, but now he was actually discouraged from doing so. No more independent study or activities. Now, everyone worked on the same lesson together. When the teacher spoke to the children, she most often spoke to them as a group, rarely speaking directly to each individual child and making eye contact. The teacher reported that FavoriteSon frequently spoke out during class – but often, when he did so, it appeared as if he was talking to himself. He sometimes didn’t seem to hear her when she spoke to him. He often continued with lessons and activities after the teacher had concluded and moved on to the next lesson. Almost every morning he disrupted the class by talking to his classmates.
Step 4: I began researching the possibilities. I read books and articles, searched the internet, talked to other parents, teachers, counselors and even kids. The first thing I did was read some books on ADD.
FavoriteSon was displaying a few signs of ADD. One I noticed immediately was “hyperfocus.” If he was fully engaged in a task, he didn’t seem to notice anything around him. That’s what he was doing when he continued the lessons after the rest of the class had moved on to the next activity. I used to do that as a child when I was reading, and I never thought much of it. But FavoriteSon took it to the extreme. If he was interested and engaged in what he was doing, it was VERY difficult to get his attention. And not so much fun to get him to stop the activity. So what did this mean? Was there anything I could do about it? Back to the books.
I zeroed in on Chapter 10, Addressing the Imbalance: Non-Drug Treatments for ADD, in the book, “Running on Ritalin,” by Lawrence H. Diller, M.D. In the section entitled Behavioral Training: An Indispensable Tool, he suggested an interesting concept: (emphasis added)
Structure tasks into smaller components. For example, instead of telling a child, “Clean your room,” break the job down into stages: “First pick up your clothes off the floor and then put them in the hamper.”
I had an “Ah HA!” moment. I realized that, for my son, the instructions “Clean your room.” or “Do your homework.” were:
1. Too abstract. With so many things to do in order to accomplish that task, he was paralyzed and didn’t know where to start.
2. Too overwhelming. The job seemed bigger than it really was.
3. Too confusing. We didn’t have the same ideas with regard to what “clean” was when it came to his room. To him, it was clean. There were just toys and clothes on the floor.
(I read a LOT more and talked to a LOT more people, but it’s just too much to relay here. I’ll note some book resources at the end of this post.)
Armed with a plethora of information, it was time to turn all this knowledge and theory into action.
First, I wanted to rule out any physical problems, so I took FavoriteSon to the doctor for a checkup and had his hearing checked. His pediatrician didn’t discover anything unusual and his hearing was fine.
Secondly, I tried Dr. Miller’s suggestion to break things up into smaller components. I started at home. I gave short, step by step instructions for chores, homework – even bathing:
Instead of “clean up your room,” I said, “Pick up all your Rescue Heroes and stand them up on the shelves, please.” The first time, I said “put them on the shelf” and he PILED them on the shelf – but he had done what I asked. After a few times, he started to put all the water guys on one shelf, all the firefighters on another . . . my freakishly organized tendencies manifesting themselves in my son. I was so proud.
Instead of “Do your homework.” I said, “Hmm, how old are you? 6? If you do 6 math problems you can play for 12 minutes.” The first time he did his 6 problems in less than 5 minutes. After a few times of this “little bit of homework, little bit of play” he did his 6 math problems, I set the timer for 12 minutes and when the time was up, I said, “Hey bud, it’s time for 6 more problems.” He grinned and, without even looking up from the video game he was playing, he said, “Nuh uh. I finished all my math.” Little stinker had done ALL his math problems in one sitting. Because when he sat down to do them, he was only faced with the small, manageable task of completing 6 of them. (microactions, gotta love ‘em) I wondered why it took him a little longer that day. I just thought the problems were harder.
Instead of “Take a shower.” I said, “Pop in the shower and get your hair wet, please.” followed by “Get some shampoo in your hands and make bubbles before you put it on your head.” He used to spend way too much time in the shower and come out dry and dirty. Now, he had a clear understanding of what to do. I just walked by the bathroom door every few minutes to remind him what he was supposed to do next. If I didn’t, he would get distracted and we would hear him singing – and not washing.
It was amazing. Everything I asked FavoriteSon to do, he did. Fast. With fairly good attitude. So, I spoke to the teacher and explained what I had learned and what we had tried at home. She began modifying the way she gave instructions and reported that she noticed immediate, significant improvement. Lessons were completed, there were less instances of hyper focus and generally, he was doing better in school.
But he was still talking in class – to himself and to the other kids. I recalled something I read in Dr. Miller’s book, Running on Ritalin:
“The family of drugs to which Ritalin belongs – the stimulants – has been both a blessing and a blight on humankind. The stimulants, which include such drugs as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamine, are so named because of their generalized effects on the body’s organ systems, particularly on the heart, blood vessels, and brain. Stimulants increase blood pressure; they make the individual less sleepy. Stimulants such as coca leaves and tobacco have been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for there energizing, pain killing or medicinal properties. Many of us can’t start the day without our hit of caffeine.”
I drink coffee every morning. At least two cups. And we’re not talking 8 ounce cups. Who’s to say FavoriteSon couldn’t have a little Coke instead of a little Ritalin? And weren’t those tiny little half size cans just perfect for this little experiment? Bingo. He had his little can of Coke during snack every morning and the talking lessened. Significantly. (He was in 1st grade, did you really think he would completely stop talking in class?)
A few years later, we had his vision checked and found out that FavoriteSon was nearsighted and needed glasses to correct his vision. Was that another problem for him that we didn’t discover at that time?
So, looking back, I’m not sure. Did FavoriteSon have mild ADD? Or did he, like his sister, have problems with his blood sugar? Or both? Did his experience in Montessori school lead to some of the problems he had adjusting to the traditional environment? Was I a bad mom all those years for not realizing that one of the reasons he seemed so disinterested looking at alligators in the lake we drive over was because he couldn’t see them?
I’m not going to spend time on the diagnosis (or blaming myself) now and I didn’t focus on it then. What I DID do was take action. I applied The Underwear Principle, step by step.
For us, it worked. And make no mistake, as nice and neat as this wrote up, we didn’t live it out so smoothly. See, it’s easy to do all the stuff we did. But to do it consistently, over and over and over, every day, without giving in?
Now, THAT. Was hard.
Some of the books I read:
Running on Ritalin by Lawrence H. Diller, M.D.
Should I Medicate My Child? by Lawrence H. Diller, M.D.
Beyond Ritalin, Facts About Medication and Other Strategies for Helping Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders by Stephen W. Garber, Ph.D., Marianne Daniels Garber, Ph.D. and Robyn Freedman Spizman.
“A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”
The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”
I’ve heard this story before, but with rocks instead of golf balls. I had never heard the ingredients include coffee before.
Renee, since we live so far apart, we’re gonna need to have “virtual” coffee. Don’t you just LOVE free mobile to mobile?
I didn’t drink coffee until I was 30. Now, I drink at least 2 cups every morning. Sometimes I make a pot of decaf hazelnut in the middle of the afternoon, just for me! When I was pregnant, I drank decaf in the morning too and . . . it just didn’t work for me, so over time, we’ve modified the morning coffee routine in two ways:
First, we brew half caf, half decaf. Still great taste, still a little perk from the caffeine, but not too much.
Secondly, we drink “suicide” coffee. Ever see a kid (or maybe you do this) go to the soda fountain dispenser at a restaurant and put a little bit of every kind of soda in the same glass? I’ve heard that drink called a “suicide” since my high school days working at McDonalds. Kids used to order it.
So, what is “suicide” coffee? Well, when we brew our haf caf, half decalf, we use two different flavors of coffee, See, we drink coffee made with flavored beans in this house (it’s one of our few luxuries), and whenever we open a new bag of coffee, we never know what flavors will emerge. We’ve gotten into a routine of using Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas as a decaf “base” coffee, but we switch out the caffeinated coffee flavors every time.
Also, we don’t buy a cup of coffee every morning, we brew our own. Even after buying the flavored coffees and the 500 count box of Dixie hot cups and lids at Sam’s Club, we still spend less than everyone at Starbucks. Besides, Starbucks doesn’t have flavored beans. And we LOVE our flavored beans.
Anemia? What? Are you sure? Iron supplement for two months? TWO months?
I don’t wanna. (in a big baby whining voice.)
I’m just going to sit down for a minute.
I’m wiped out. I’m going to bed. (at 9:00 p.m. on Friday night)
Wait, what’s that on my leg? And another one on my arm? How did I get BRUISES?
I took my first iron pill yesterday. Why don’t I feel better yet?
How long is this going to take? I need to finish painting the bedroom and the lawn needs mowed.
DO NOT TAKE (wow, all caps even) within one hour before or two hours after antacids, eggs, whole grain breads or cereal, milk, milk products, coffee or tea.
COFFEE? Seriously. COFFEE?
AND I can’t take the iron within two hours of taking Nexium!
When am I supposed to take this stupid thing then? (again with the big baby whining voice.)
Stupid Nexium probably caused this.
Stupid fibroids probably caused this.
Stupid weight training probably caused this.
Well, this is . . . a pain, annoying, inconvenient, ridiculous . . . stupid.
I don’t WANT to play anemia. This game is stupid.
I’m going over to read Elle’s post again.
And I’m going to paint the bedroom. It’s just going to take a little longer to finish, that’s all. Hey, FavoriteSon! Mow the grass please!
Thank you God, that blogging doesn’t require physical exertion.
I found this quiz over at Lux Venit. never moody? hmmmm. What does the word “moody” really mean, anyway? Want to play? Click the link at the bottom!
What Your Latte Says About You
You don’t treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn’t jibe with your very disciplined life.You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.You’re totally addicted to caffeine… but you like to pretend like you aren’t!You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You’re occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.You are dramatic and intense, but you are never moody.