Think Process

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Do you ever get out of patience because it seems as though you are teaching and learning, but you don’t know if you or your children are making any progress?

Teaching and learning are kind of like growing out a bad haircut. It takes 1000 times longer than you want it to take!

And it happens so slowly, that you aren’t sure that anything is happening at all…


Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

But, if you measure your hair growth after a month or six, you’ll see that yes, it was growing all along though it was imperceptible day to day!

And if you look back at what you knew or what your children were learning a year ago, you’ll see that yes, you’ve all come a long way since then.

Teaching and learning are processes, not events.

If you taught or corrected or mentored or led someone today and you don’t know if it will help, give it a little time.

If you read and studied and practiced and applied some new thing you desperately want to learn, but you don’t yet have a solid grasp on it, give it a while. In time you’ll see that you were acquiring that new knowledge or skill all along.

Part of being patient with ourselves and with others is understanding this truth: teaching and learning are slow, simple, minute and sometimes unconscious processes that require time.

I hope you are off to a good start this week; that is, that you are full of love and patience for yourself and others.

Be well my friend!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Perspective

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I’m excited to share an article with you that a dear friend recently shared with me. {Thank you Ann!} She reports that it was written at least 40 years ago and has no byline except, Anonymous.

Knowing that this was written before many of you were born, I offer a few notes about the author’s perspective. When she was writing, “the common denominators of women’s days,” it was simply accurate. However, in today’s world, it may sound like inequality talking.

She says they listened to a record, which you may or may not have experienced {think big, vinyl CD that plays audio recordings by spinning around on a gramophone or record player}, and yes, people used to chat with their backyard neighbors a lot more!


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Now for you, thoughtful reader, who will hear and understand the profound point the author is making, here it is. I hope you are as moved and blessed by her words, as I have been!

Let Me Hold You While I May

“The day is over; now I will sleep.

It had been a normal sort of day, common like a rock along the path. Nothing about it would make one stop suddenly, pick it up and exclaim over it, as one might do with a shell, or a glistening piece of quartz. It was just a rock, lying there along my way. But now, knowing that it is about to go from me forever, I hold it in my hand curiously, turning it this way and that, marking its shape and texture, weighing it on my palm. What was it really, this normal day?

It was routine, mostly—washing, ironing, a trip to the store, meals, dishes, the common denominators of women’s days.

It was pleasant here and there—a letter from an old friend, my husband’s telephone call for no reason, a back fence chat with my neighbor, half an hour with a good book, some loud laughs with the children at dinner time.

It was irritating now and then—a sticky ocean of spilled maple syrup, mealtime with one greedy child and one finicky one, the arrival of a bill unexpectedly high, a persistent salesman’s theft of fifteen beautiful minutes.

It was deeply joyous at times—the whole house glorified with the strains of the new “Greensleeves” record; our unliterary twelve-year-old’s first book (begun today, to be finished tomorrow) with its dedication to–wonder of wonders–his parents; our eight-year-old and her friend playing dress-up, painted and perfumed, scarved and veiled, clattering through the kitchen in spike heels and innocence.

It was sobering and frightening in some ways—Mom’s waning health and increasing discouragement; the big blow-up after dinner about homework and learning to accept responsibility, and the guilt that followed my hasty words; the vague, huge uncertainties that draped themselves over us, cobweb-like, with the ten o’clock news from a tense and shadowed world.

It was blessed with love throughout—in a pig-shaped bead board made, and presented to me by my son; in the wave of feeling as I watched our little daughter sleeping in soft moonlight, her long lashes shadowing her cheek; in an hour alone with my husband at the end of the day.

Just a normal day. A normal day! It is a jewel! In time of war, in peril of death, people have dug their hands and faces into the earth and remembered this. In time of sickness and pain, people have stretched themselves taut and waited for this. In time of loneliness and separation, people have buried their faces in pillows and wept for this. In times of hunger, homelessness and separation, people have raised bony hands to the skies and stayed alive for this.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world your return.”

Be well my friend.

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

The Gathering

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I love baskets.

There are so many things you can organize and carry and make beautiful with them!

And it seems that we women are drawn to the process of collecting and storing whether it be food for a family or fabric for a new project.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Some gathering can become troublesome though can’t it? The gathering I’m most concerned about for myself and others is the kind that keeps us reading and collecting ideas and skills. That in and of itself is a good thing! But what if the gathering feels so productive and takes so much time, that we quit there and never come around to doing what we know?

Can we really learn without the deepening wisdom that comes from experience? Is it possible to be immersed in information so much and so often that it keeps us from learning? I think so!

Hence, we may have baskets full of very good ideas to try sometime, while our basket of tried and true may stay closer to empty.

And that feels exhausting!

The joy and transforming energy comes in actually doing the work!

Doing the brainstorming. Actually making the list. Participating in the discussion. Feeling the pain of change. Confronting old patterns of belief. Taking the risks. Possibly appearing foolish while starting at the beginning of a new endeavor. {Did I mention pain?}

So here’s a challenge:

If you read or hear an idea today that sounds like something that would bless your life, I challenge you to stop gathering long enough to put that one thing into action.

Consider setting a goal to work on only a handful of small things at once and limit your gathering activities, or at least be extremely selective about the sources to which you will give your precious learning time.

There is great joy that comes when we hear and do. Great learning. Great wisdom. Great progress, even if the things we do are very, very small.

When you feel the triumph of doing the next baby step, it is exhilarating! That is because our joy comes as we take the tiny, incremental steps learning requires!

While on the other hand, gathering turns into pseudo-learning if we stay in that preliminary step, telling ourselves that we are being productive! We are kept from the joy of action because the time we need to practice is already spent in gathering more.

It’s wonderful to have a file for ideas to try later! Or for ways to get a regular shot–in-the-arm to stay motivated and on task; a place for recipes, hurrah for Pinterest! But— learning will be joyful when we actually start cooking. And don’t forget the eating!

I’m sending you my love. You’re doing far better than you know! I hope you will enjoy your life in this day; slow down {at least find quiet moments}, hear the birds and give thanks.

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Small Means

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It never ceases to amaze me how misaligned our beliefs can become.

Do we sometimes think that our life won’t really have meaning until we accomplish some big and public thing?

Or that what we do in family life each day somehow pales in comparison to what we or others are doing out there?

That we can’t really feel good about our day if it only amounted to rocking a sick baby or serving the people we love? That caring for ourselves must take a backseat…

Well, in reality, those thoughts are backward.

It is actually the very small acts of living and giving that amount to the most meaningful and productive events in our lives!

Learning to be present in the moments we have with our loved ones, however insignificant those moments may seem, can create profound and lasting ties.

Those lasting ties can become connecting points and those connections are the number one anti-drug! In studies on the effects of something as simple as families eating dinner together, we can see that kids are less apt to use alcohol or participate in other risky behaviors when they eat evening meals with their family. Granted, planning, preparing and serving an evening meal on a regular basis is no little thing! But for many, dinner isn’t usually up there on the important-enough-for-giving-it-our-best-intentional-efforts-most-evenings scale.

So I’ll ask you, using the perspective of “the small things are really the big things,” what big, important things did you do today?

Let’s see, among other things, today I got to hold my infant granddaughter.

I got to spend time with two other grand kids and my daughter this morning for breakfast.

I got to pray with my spouse before he went to work and hear him tell God that he loves me. I got to pack his lunch, and, I got to call him just as he pulled out of the driveway and offer to run out and meet him, if he’d like to turn around and get his forgotten vitamin.

I got to go to a short, morning gathering with my parents and my brother to talk about things we’re learning.

I got to watch a short, funny cartoon with my son.

I got to write out a list of things for him to do today so that he can be busy and productive.

I got to do housework today so that I’ll be freed-up tomorrow to go the funeral of a friend.

I got to work on my brain, meaning anytime I started to default to some negative thought, I corrected myself, and brought my thoughts back to those that would benefit me.

I got to meet with my website guru and work on a new and improved site for Lioness!

And I got to write this small blog post.

All of these things were rather small.

But each of them, even though they may seem mundane or trivial have meaning to me and hopefully they’ll be meaningful to others too.

I challenge you to consider looking at your life with this life-of-meaning equation: the small things = the big things.

My love and wishes for a happy week ahead!

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Letting Go

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When we trust in God’s timing we can:


Photo by Yuriy Kovalev on Unsplash

Back off.

Live in the present.

Rest when we’re tired.

Accept and embrace what we’re experiencing today.

Recognize our need for learning and accept our humanness.

Tread lightly.

Take time to study things out.

Feel productive as we make mistakes.

See patterns of contrast as patterns of growth, not as failure, but as learning!

Feel His love as we return again and again for His assurance.

I challenge you to determine one way that you can demonstrate your faith and trust today!

Much love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”