The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

I can’t compete

The world of blogging, pinning, tweeting, posting, and texting has taken the world by storm. It’s a new storm of technology, where people are trying to one-up each other with a better word, or picture, or video. Good heavens! Videos, of all things, are the newest craze with the young crowd. It’s so much technology to ingest, and I just can’t compete.

Don’t get me wrong. I love reading the latest blog post from an acquaintance or person I follow that has similar convictions and worldviews. I love being on the computer and smart phone at times, checking on the statuses of my friends. I even love watching the occasional video that my kids insist I view on their Vines page.

Secretly, in my heart of hearts, I wish that I could shut down the equipment for a month. It’s difficult to do in an age where everyone relies on the latest form of modern technology to get them through their workday, their schedules, their lives. I am so proud that I finally gave up the latest craze of a popular candy game. I feel so much relief in not bothering myself with trying to make it to the next level. Again, I can’t compete.

An acquaintance of mine recently posted about an epiphany she had regarding her family. I think it was so relieving to read that her view of “abnormal” was actually “normal” in my book. She does not need to worry about what other think of her, and she had to share it. So what if someone views you as “abnormal” because you don’t “do life” in the same way that they do? It’s so refreshing to not have to compete with others.

My reply to her was so simple: “Brooke, I am sure that your post was very timely for many of us here! I am glad to know that there is no such thing as a “normal” homeschooling family… let alone a “normal” non-homeschooling family. The definition of “normal” is so overrated anyway, because it’s completely subjective in nature. Sure, there is a societal view of “normal” but I haven’t seen too many “normal” people in public lately. Maybe it’s because I’m biased, or prejudiced, or ignorant, or walking around with horse blinders. Either way, God created each of us to be unique, and I think that your view of homeschooling is “perfect” for your family. It’s so easy to try and compare ourselves to other bloggers, mothers, pinterest posts, facebook statuses, etc… When, really, God calls us to be REAL, AUTHENTIC, and UNIQUE.”

My life can’t compete with her life, nor can it compete with the surreal world of connections. Although my friends are “real” on the other side of the HDMI cable, it’s too much pressure to get wrapped up in competition. I’d rather have a cup of coffee at my patio table and converse with a friend any day, then to flex my cyber-muscles of how much I know or am connected in the world wide web. Call me a Gutenberger. Give me a real book to read, or a pen and paper to write a real letter. Or heck, pick up a telephone (not a cell phone) and make an actual call.

Because I can’t compete with all the technology, I am typing this down on a blog, how ironic, to remind myself of one thing: I just want to be real, authentic, and unique.

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The “D” Word

There are many offensive words in our English language. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to admit it… but, this one affects all of us. It is negative; it is harsh; it is down right ugly. It reminds of us of our human limits. It is known as “the debt that all men pay.” Have you figured it out yet?

I have been reminded of this word far too often in the past few months. In fact, I am still dealing with this cruel irony.

Death… or Deliverance?

“Why, would you want to write about a topic like this?” you may ask. It is a horrible topic to talk about. Well, guess what? It happens every day to thousands of people. “Well, that sounds so shallow and insensitive!” you reply. Why yes, it does, and I am sorry I offended you.

But, there is good news. There is hope. “How?” you now scream at me. “Tell me how you are going to explain yourself out of this mess?” My reply, “Gently, and with love.”

I believe that all human beings have a difficult time with the concept of death. All the statistics show that 100% of us are going to experience it at some point, we would rather not think about it. I used to be one of those idealists who figured that I would have to worry about this tragedy when I became old.

Today marks a new day for a young lady, whom I have not yet met. She is the age of my eldest son, and she will never walk down the graduation aisle or the wedding aisle. But, last night, she walked her last steps on earth, and marched straight into heaven.

She was delivered from her earthly body, full of pain and disease.

This is not easy news to bear. Nobody wants to hear about suffering, illness, or death. But, at some point, we ALL will have to face one or more of these things.

So, even when we will come to this point in our lives, we don’t have to choose sorrow.

Death equates with sorrow.

Deliverance equates with saved.

I have had my share of pain. Five years ago I was inflicted with an acute illness that could have taken away my life here on earth. I was fortunate. Through the immense amount of pain and physical symptoms, I was healed. I was given a second chance. I was delivered from my pain, and I am still alive on earth for a while longer.

Some people are given second chances at life. Some are not so fortunate. The view of life and death is a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of God’s choosing. (Yes, a lot will disagree here).

The apostle Paul wrote in the book of Philippians in the New Testament, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Ch 1, verse 21).

In 1st Thessalonians Chapter 4, verse 13, he says, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that do not grieve like the rest of mankind.”

And, in 2 Timothy Chapter 4, verse 7, he says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

The list of verses can go on and on about having life on earth, and then be swept into eternity.

It’s not so much about how a person is going to die, but what a person does with his or her life on earth… so that death will bring about a legacy of hope and eternal salvation!

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My Dog has a Window Seat

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My dog Penny loves to go outside. The other day I was preoccupied with my dirty dishes, and I looked up to see her smiling, panting face looking at me through the window. I was so overwhelmed with “awe” for her precious attention toward me, that I stopped washing my dishes to capture this moment.

Of all the animals on the planet, I truly believe that a dog was meant to bring us joy. My sweet little (rather, she’s quite medium-sized) Penny has the largest amount of unconditional love I have ever witnessed. She happily greets anyone who comes to our door (no stranger-danger in this pup!) and always desires a pat on the head or a rub on her belly!

Sometimes I think that God has allowed these domesticated animals to show us how to love unconditionally, as well. Even when we are stinky, whiny, and down right mean, a dog can come up to us and give us a lick. This small gesture reminds me that I am forgiven, I am loved, and I am accepted.

So, I won’t ever forget this lovely moment between Penny and me. She makes me want to be a better person by learning to unconditionally love others, just as she unconditionally loves me.

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Unplugged

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I looked outside and saw my little girl swinging on the horse stall. There’s one component missing in this picture: a horse! Yet, she still loves to go outside, and frolic in the yard with the goats and the chickens. I can remember the carefree days of childhood, where imagination takes center stage, and playtime consisted of pure, raw, simple fun.

This past week the pastor at my church encouraged each one of us to take time to unplug. This is difficult to do, especially while writing this post! We are all so wrapped up on the latest tweet or like that we tend to focus our energy into a digital screen. Since I have four children who were born in the latest generation, this challenge will not be easy to overcome.

Countless words are written each day by the keyboard to share our thoughts or opinions. Countless pictures are taken and instantly promoted to the public domain. For all the time spent (and possibly wasted) in front of the monitor, we could be frolicking in the backyard, getting to know the hearts of our children. Even if some are childless, there could be ways to enjoy the moment of living without technology.

Two weeks ago, my family had a taste of the lack of electricity when our downstairs AC unit decided to give up. We had to wait almost five days for a new compressor to be installed. It would have been completely unbearable to wait, except for the fact that we found relief upstairs. It seems that no matter how simple I’d like to live (without the constraints of technology), I am guilty of leaning too much on its convenience. I am still yearning to be prepared to live like I am camping in a tent, with no electricity or running water.

In the meantime, I am training my heart and mind to be more in tune with the master of the unplugged world: my Lord. I also desire to see that my husband and children would find satisfaction and contentment in becoming unplugged as well. Since it’s easier (and less nagging) to change my own behavior, I will start with me.

Are there any goals in this challenge? Why, yes:

  • To become a better wife and mom
  • to become a stronger person in all four ways (physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally)
  • to become more in tune with my Savior and Lord

Someday, these words will encourage someone. I just know it. If it happens to be you, dear reader, will you kindly reply to this post?

Blessings to you and all who find encouragement here.

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