First of all I want to say thank you to all who read this blog. It encourages me. Last year I rarely updated it, but now I'm getting into the whole blogging thing. :)
I wanted to confess something on here. Recently I have been trying to re-evaluate what is important. In light of our recent loss life has held so much more meaning. So in light of the new year I have tried to focus on 2 things: living in the here and now and words.
First: living in the here and now. Many of you know that I am a worrier. No, not in the visual sense where you see a frazzled worrier running around. I worry in the quiet. And if you have had a deep conversation with me, you hear me talk about the same things over and over again: my kids, their education in a 2nd language, our health, etc. This past summer and fall have held the hardest in the worrying department. I follow a blog called "Confessions of a Homeschooler" If you homeschool your kids, please check out this site! It's got some great ideas and free printables :) In her printable section she has a list of "SuperMom vs. Abiding Mom". I printed this out several months ago, but just five days ago I started looking at it. I committed to do one characteristic a day with the corresponding Bible verse as part of my time with God. The first one really hit me. Super Mom does. Abiding Mom is. The corresponding Bible verse? Psalm 46:10: Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted among all peoples (that includes the Irby home!) I realized I am striving way too hard. I spent countless hours researching the internet on how to do homeschool. I work really hard to create an environment where they can best learn. I try really hard to get my ideas up so others can see and hopefully benefit. And none of that is bad. In fact, it's all good. But it's just too much. Too much striving. All the while, I'm doing it worrying if it will be good enough. Worrying if I'm doing enough. And even when I create or the kids create something really great, I still want more. So. That's a thing I'm trusting with God now. Cease striving. Know He is God. He will be exalted in this home! I chose to live in the here and now, for we don't know how many nows we will have. I will not be afraid of the future nor carry the weight of the past.
The second: words. Lately under stress, I have muttered (okay, shouted) some careless words around the house. "How many times have I told you! come on...hurry up! don't you understand Mommy is tired too?! stop it, I'm busy!" I could go on and on...
I have been following another blog I highly recommend for encouraging us in life. Ann at A Holy Experience has recently written a post about the impact of words. I would encourage you to visit her blog and go to that post. There are two posts and both are very well worth the read (as are all of her posts!) Basically she sums it up in one phrase. "Only speak words that make souls stronger." Ouch. Have I made their little souls stronger by the end of the day? When we get in bed and turn off the lights, is my husband's soul stronger than the day before? I'm realizing that the words I speak carry a lot of weight. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.
I share all this to ask for prayer for me in these areas. I don't ever claim to have it all together. In fact, I probably will finish this post and carry on with my day still struggling. We will all struggle. But the difference is that God promises He will walk with us.
I leave you with this:
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice, let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. Finally , brothers, whatever is true, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heart and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. " ---Philippians 4:4-9