Liz Thomas, a good friend who has now “graduated to glory” (that’s my friend Denial trying to keep my friend sacrilegious from telling you that she’s done died and gone to Heaven), ANYWAY (argh…if my multiple personalities would quit demanding attention) …. ok start over…

Liz once told me that when she got in a rut and wanted to change the way her home was running, she focused on 1 or 2 areas at a time – but 1 or 2 areas for a few weeks. Then, when things were under control in THAT area, she moved on to the next area. Liz was the mother of 10 children. She was amazing.

I listened to her then, but I’ve always been of the “all or nothing” school of thought when it comes to how to run a home – but hey, that hasn’t really worked out the way I had originally envisioned. And of course if I’m going to be honest it’s ONLY because I keep choosing the “nothing” option!!

But her advice has been coming back to me over and over this year. I finally purposed to change just TWO things this week, and it’s been really great! Thanks, Liz. I miss you.

Thing 1: Begin a Bible Study. Finally. For the first time in my life. (yes, literally)
Thing 2: Read to the children every day for 45 minutes.

I’m glad to say both Things are going well!

Thing 1:
I started the Kay Arthur Inductive Bible Study on the book of Philippians and Corinthians. Those are 2 of my favorite books – well, rather, some of my favorite memory verses come from those books, until Monday I had never actually read the entire book of Philippians. It’s only 4 chapters long.

I prefer the KJV. It’s what I was read growing up and as a child I never had any trouble understanding it, and I also could read Shakespeare and Chaucer with little effort. Shakespeare was a breeze, but Chaucer was a little more challenging because the linguistics were so different. Anyway – different topic.

So for Day 1 you are just supposed to read through the book of Philippians and record your general impressions of the book. Easy enough. Ha. You know…it really has been a while since I have tried to assimilate an entire book out of the KJV Bible!! I can pull up lots of Scripture to use for referencing specific topics. But to sit and read the letter Paul wrote to the Philippi, as if it were … say… his BLOG post… it was a little more difficult than I remember. I felt really frustrated on Monday but pressed on and finished it – having no idea what I was supposed to have comprehended! LOL!

The 2nd part of my Bible study includes copywork: literally copying the entire book of Philippians onto paper and keeping it in my notebook. (This wasn’t party of Kay Arthur’s requirement.) I set the timer for 15 minutes and began in my “not so perfect” handwriting. As I copied the Scripture onto the paper, I could begin to grasp what Paul was talking about in his letter. I imagined him sitting at a desk or table 2,000 years ago writing these very same words. (You know, not LITERALLY – because he didn’t write in modern day English – but you know what I mean.) It was a cool feeling. Made Paul seem a little more real to me. A little more like a PERSON and not just this anonymous name associated with some guy who wrote a book in the Bible.

Many thanks to Jennifer who brought her books and study notes over and showed me how she does her Bible studies! No one has ever shared that with me before. More on that in another post.

THING #2
Reading to the kids!!

WOW! I’ve finally started doing it and it’s been so great.

Ok first I took away the boys’ legos as punishment last week b/c they wouldn’t keep them picked up. I definitely used this to my advantage this week. I spread a blanket on the living room floor and got their legos out and told them they could play with the legos while I read them the book, “Louis Braille”. (Thanks for the idea, Reba!) I made all 4 of them get on the (large) blanket and stay on it. This was multi-tasking on a few levels. 1) The kids all had to play together, quietly. This is unusual in my house. My kids play together all day – but they are usually busy with some highly involved game that takes over the house. It was nice to have them all sitting together, quiet, but still busy. 2) The boys had to help Hannah and Claire with their lego projects. This was great b/c the boys tend to push the girls out of their room when the legos come out and it hurts the girls’ feelings. So the boys are learning how to “shepherd” their sisters into the lego building processes. 3) They had to listen to the story. I would stop every now and then and ask them pointed questions. Even Hannah. They all passed their little tests too!

We finished reading Louis Braille and have now started on Helen Keller’s book. I’m really enjoying our afternoon reading sessions. AND…I learned that Helen Keller’s Grandma’s name was Helen Everett. Guess what!!??!! MY Gramma’s name was Mary Helen Everett. Do you think there’s a relation?!?!? I could be Helen Keller’s Great-something-or-other! COOL!

We’ve also been able to keep somewhat of a schedule this week, though today wasn’t nearly as productive as the rest of the week. But that’s OK – I really only wanted to change TWO things this week, so I’m really happy with how things are going! There are so many things that need to change, it can be very overwhelming when I think of how far off track we really are. But God has been really gracious. As I’ve prayed about what I need to change He has impressed specific things on me and then provided the support I need to make the change. He really is the Perfect Parent!