Thoughts on What is Really Important

I read quite a few blogs each day but few have touched me as this one did. A family is visiting their sponsored child and other children who are sponsored. They visited a family in a “mud walled, thatched roofed home” where the father had come to know Jesus through physical healing of paralysis through a fall at work, though the full healing took a year. Asking the family what challenges they faced brought to light the fact that the roof leaked because it is thatch.The two children have big dreams of becoming a bank manager & computer engineer even though their current life is surrounded by poverty.

Now we just purchased a home and the roof, though old, doesn’t leak. Nor do any other parts of the home. My husband, though injured, is still able to work some. My children, though they may not attend the “best” schools in the country when they are older will likely be able to join whatever trade they desire without having to also overcome abject poverty.

If I were the family in the story and asked what my prayer request was my response would be: a) new roof b) food each day c) good schooling for my children and so on along these lines.

Well this family was asked what their prayer request was. Here’s the summary from the blog: We asked the father what we could pray for. He, without hesitation said, “Spiritual growth. We must grow in our relationship with Jesus. After that, God will take care of the rest of things like the roof and other needs.

Ouch! Oy. Sigh. How is it that the poor father in a struggling third world country can come up with the better answer without hesitation? Why am I, the child of this first world country, in the face of certain hardship, focused first on the worldly things, not on the spiritual? Why do I spend more time wondering how to make ends meet than cultivating a deeper relationship with the One who will meet those needs? Why are all my prayer requests for tangible things rather than the intangible?

Even as I write this I discover that a necessary bill we would now be struggling to pay will be three times as much this month. So how shall I respond? Should I throw my hands up in despair? Shall I just worry myself into the ground? Or should I say, with that father, “pray that I will grow in my relationship with Jesus?” Well, I think it’s obvious there is a right answer here. But for me, not an easy one.

Here’s the link to the original post: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World from JonesBones5

An Assortment

I like the idea of having some guidelines around keeping the house clean. Eventually I’d like to have a household binder where my favorite cleaning guidelines & tips are kept. Right now though I want to put a few of these ideas into action and get them to be habits instead of nice ideas.

10 Rules & 10 Tips for the Kitchen @ Time Warp Wife – this has been revolutionizing my kitchen work. The idea of doing dishes every time there are at least 10 and the idea of filling the sink while cooking – why didn’t I think of that!

3 Steps to Ease Your Way into Truly Natural Personal Products @ Simple Organic

There are few large issues that move me as much as human slavery. Portland was a hub for this; now the I-75 corridor running from Florida to Michigan. No matter where you live, someone is being sold against their will. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11th

I am thankful to have a good marriage but I know many who are struggling. This article speaks volumes I think.You Never Marry the Right Person @ Relevant Magazine

And a fun one: this shows how data can be manipulated to serve the interests of whoever holds the data. I first saw something like this in my statistics class in college and it’s been in the back of my mind since. Also fun for a chuckle. Correlation or Causation @ Bloomberg Businessweek

Most years I am eager for the new year to arrive so I can decide which goals I want to set. For whatever reason, this year I have no desire to set any goals. Maybe the daily goal of unpacking the house and preparing for the baby are enough. 🙂 But when I read this blog about setting goals a month at a time something clicked. I feel like I have enough wiggle room to set a monthly goal, or even to set one goal, get that into practice for several weeks, then think about another. We’ll see how it goes! Rethinking Resolutions: Setting Goals One Month at a Time @ Frugal Living NW

There’s been lots of talk about SOPA but I find I really don’t know what it is. Thought this was a good explanation link. What is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You? @ Wise Bread

Food Links

I want to try some or all of these. Several of these have directions for freezing also.

Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas @ $5 Dinners

Individual Mac & Cheese @ Once a Month Mom

Homemade Pizza Dough @ Once a Month Mom

Oven Baked Apple Compote @ Good Cheap Eats (I tried this one. It was easy to put together and yummy. I only had 7 small apples though and would love to make it again with more apples.)

Lemon Pull-Apart @ Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Grandma Graham’s Perfect Pie Crust @ Eat Outside the Bag

Get Real: Where to Begin with Real Food  @ Once a Month Mom

Brunch Pie @ Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Easy Crockpot Applesauce @ New Nostalgia – I told my husband I was planning to make this while he was at work but he wanted to enjoy the good smells too. So he peeled all the apples for me and I cored/cut them (one tool). Now we’re just waiting for the good smells to begin!

Homemade Bagel Bites @ Once a Month Mom

I find it helpful to read over what others are fixing. It gives me ideas and helps me plan my own week.

Menu Plan @ Frugal Granola

Menu Plan @ Heavenly Homemakers

Returning to Life

After an extended hiatus I am ready to return to this little blog. It was March when I last posted, and oh my, the changes in our life since then! Here is is the highlight reel:

  • Moved across the country.
  • Lived in transitional housing shared w/my parents (w/transitional possessions, and a toddler) for six months.
  • Expecting our second child in six weeks.
  • Purchased a home.

I think those events separately would be plenty, one at a time, each year. Put all together is an interesting, challenging, depressing, exciting roller coaster of the past nine months.

Our new home base is very different from our old. Overall we don’t like the change but feel it was the right decision in the long run. I won’t go into that more, but anyone who has left the Pacific Northwest (or anywhere they loved) will know how we feel. No matter how nice the change is, if you loved what came first the change is hard.

Now that we are mostly unpacked and getting settled again I am finding myself wanting to revisit my original passions – homemaking, natural things, finances and really whatever else strikes my fancy. With the new baby coming soon I may not post a lot, but I’ll be updating a bit from time to time until we get settled in our new routines.