Monday, April 27, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook for April 27, 2015

For Today... April 27,2015

Outside my window... it looks like a foggy day without fog.

I am thinking... about how the idea of "Be still" is related to "Cease striving" in different translations of the same verse. 

I am thankful... for the ability to ease into Monday morning when I have worn out children.

I am wearing...  jeans and long sleeves. It is still too chilly, but I hope it will warm up this week.

I am creating... posts in my head.  So sorry that you can't read them. yet.

I am going... to Tractor Supply and Kroger today. Ah the glamor.

I am wondering... how this school week will go.  It is starting slowly, but we do need to get started.

I am reading... Gayle Buck's repetoire for Kindle. It's available on Kindle Unlimited, thankfully.

I am hoping... to get back to better reading soon.

I am learning... to not be so independent, but that it's ok to depend. 

In my kitchen... the children are enjoying leftover French Toast Casserole from Saturday's brunch. I make mine with raisin bread (Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread to be exact) and add some rolled or quick oats to the streusel topping.  Yum.

In my garden... there is a second tulip readyto bloom.

In the homeschool... we are still in catch up mode, but enjoying our studies.

A favorite quote for today... "The eclipse of creation and the marginalization of the biblical Wisdom literature have left us bereft of sheer wonder at God's ways with his world." from the introduction to Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction by Craig G Bartholoew and Ryan P O'Dowd. I just started it this morning, hoping to make a discipline.  

A peek into one of my days... Saturday was our church's Newcomer's Brunch, one of my favorite annual events.  Different ladies decorate and hostess a table and it is a lovely time of fellowship.  The creativity and individuality of the women who set tables come together in a beautiful, cohesive setting. In many ways, it is illustrative of how the Father uses our individuality to enhance the whole of the body of Christ.  

One of my favorite things... I had the opportunity to spend a day with just R-girl on Friday while the other two children attended the TeenPact one day class.  I don't get an opportunity to do things one-on-one with my children as often as I might like, but we had such a fun day!  She and I spent most of it at the Columbus Museum of Art.  When we returned to the Statehouse early to await her siblings, she enjoyed her time in the Rotunda - or as she calls it, the "Beautiful Room" - by ourselves.

From the board room... By far my most followed board on Pinterest is most certainly my MBTI board.  I'm an INFJ and my husband an INTJ, so most pins are for those personality types:
             Follow ladydusk's board MBTI on Pinterest.    

Post Script... Mystie at Simply Convivial is writing about Personality Types right now in a series entitled Personality Matters.  She's very knowledgable about MBTI typing and explains clearly and concisely.  If you're not following her, you should!

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dawn and Heather Read Together: Own Your Life (Chapter 3)

Oh, wow.

This chapter totally hit me in my house. All my insecurities, my doubts of self-worth, my negative self perceptions. Every single negative thought and word in this chapter, plus some, I can name as mine.

I bet I'm not the only one.

I don't mean this to be a pity-post, so we won't delve further into my insecurities. I just want you to know that I am very much an approval-seeker. Yet if you tell me that you approve, I'll be incredibly self-conscious and uncomfortable.

I've been struggling with this all my life, but particularly in the last year, I've seen some resolution to those struggles as they've been brought forth.  I'm well into my 40s now. While I know that the opinions of others don't matter as much, I still want their good opinion ("They like me, they really like me."). Heidi posted on her Facebook page an article, "What You Learn in Your 40s" (and she links awesome stuff all the time) and what the author learned is generally true.
• If you worry less about what people think of you, you can pick up an astonishing amount of information about them. You no longer leave conversations wondering what just happened. Other people’s minds and motives are finally revealed.
People are constantly trying to shape how you view them. In certain extreme cases, they seem to be transmitting a personal motto, such as “I have a relaxed parenting style!”; “I earn in the low six figures!”; “I’m authentic and don’t try to project an image!”
(Well, we homeschool, so ...)

Clarkson is right, too, that we do this to one another within the church all the time.  I want those people to like me most of all because I like them so much.  Our pastor, though, has been preaching a lot about our identity in Christ and what it means to truly be a community.  In the church, we ought not be putting on a pretty, happy, perfect face.  How can we love one another authentically if we don't know each other's struggles? How can we encourage one another to righteousness if we're always trying to measure ourselves against an impossible list of "shoulds" that Jesus never placed on us? Remember last week, Heather reminded us that the burden Jesus expects is easy and light.

I had a revelation last summer. One Lord's Day I pretty much cried through both morning and evening worship.  I just could not get myself together and the tears ran and ran.  I saw in myself that thirst, that seeking, that hunger for approval.  That desperate need for people around me to approve of me and how that was running my life and choices and sins.  I saw the irony that I was completely out of control in front of the very people I most wanted to see me as able, confident, trustworthy, and a friend.  I was appalled.

But, the Lord was gracious to me and revealed in that chaos of thought and tears a home truth:

There is but One whose approval I truly seek.  It is that "Well done, good and faithful servant." which comes at the end of time to my Jesus, and if my identity is found in him, to me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Hanging Around Words

Another quote I collected from convention, this one referred to by Dr. Perrin in his talk on Latin.  It fits beautifully with Wednesdays with Words and the idea Cindy originally began the linkup with ... loving words and the fascinating ways they can be put together.  I'm not saying loving words makes one a poet by quoting this story, but I do love the idea of "hanging around words."

Dr. Perrin referenced a quote and I googled it.

This version of the story is from WH Auden as quoted by John Chaffee in his book Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing.
Auden even went so far as to say that he could pick out a potential poet by a student's answer to the question, "Why do you want to write poetry?" If the student answered, "I have important things to say," then he was not a poet. If he answered, "I like hanging around words listening to what they say." Then maybe he was going to be a poet.
I like how he still qualifies that maybe a lover of words will be a poet, but it isn't for certain. I do like words and how they fit together, though generally as prose.  I do admire poets and the idea of the importance of poetry, even when I don't understand it.

Wordless Wednesday: Nature Journaling at the Heronry

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Keeping Company: Convention Notebooks

I wrote some about my convention notebook before in my HS Essentials Post.  I thought I'd share more details about it for the Keeping Company in April

I do love keeping this notebook year by year. I refer to it when determining talks I wish to attend. Many of the speakers present the same lectures year by year, so using my notes, I can choose to attend or not attend as I feel the need. There are several speakers and sessions, I will always go to hear no matter how many times I've heard it. There are some speakers I like, but don't feel the need to hear their talk again.

I have pages and pages of notes going back to 2011 or so.  One reason I keep notes of old talks is because I can fill in the gaps I missed the first time through. Here are my notes from two consecutive years of Martin Cothran's session on "How to Think."  I used a plain blue pen the first time and added other notes in with the black on the second time through.

I try to be careful with my notes. Last year I began to review my notes and keep track of big ideas by circling them and putting them on a page at the front of my notebook.  I shared my list already, but here's a picture of the page in my notebook.  It is messy. I used different colors each day.

Happily, there is a half hour break between talks and I rarely have to go far between sessions for me to make my list above.  Usually I circle words in my notes after a session, but occasionally I know it will end up on my list right away, and once in a while it is at an end-of-day review.  Below, you can see the words truth, garden, and proportion circled.  I really like garden - it fits with dance and weaving so well- but it didn't make the final cut.

You also see stars above.  The stars were statements I'd consider sharing on twitter folowing the sessions.  That was so much fun! I enjoyed interacting with many folks that way.

A new page I kept this year was  a book list. And I see I mis-dated it, this was from 2015. These were books mentioned, even in passing, by the speakers during their sessions.  Some were recommended, some not.  It's an interesting list.  It does not include Martin Cothran's list of books for boys nor Jan Bloom's amazing lists from her talk on seeking out books.

Finally, I know some of you might be interested in what I heard and who spoke.  I put this list in the cover of my notebook.  I think I went to everything on here except Barbara Beers and Michael Clay Thompson (I found I had heard that talk). Oh, and I didn't go to the two sessions with ? as we left for the day before they occurred.  I'm disappointed to have missed Mr. Cothran's talk on Modern Secular Education.

I love how this one notebook keeps what I have learned, what I am reminded of, and the continuity of conference attendance. I hope to do better with keeping those big ideas front and center during the coming year. 

I'm linking this up with Celeste's Keeping Company post for April.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook for April 20, 2015

For Today... April 13, 2015

Outside my window... it is that blue, not quite black of te start of night.

I am thinking... that starting lessons up again is hard but worthwhile.

I am thankful... for the ladies in my church.  For my friend who kindly watches my kids when I have dental work done and pray for me.

I am wearing... jeans, amoeba shirt in blues and purples and pinks, and a blue hooded sweater.  It was so cold at the soccer fields tonight, I wished I had even warmer clothes on.

I am creating... not much.  Trying to get back to lessons and soccer season.  I did buy a calligraphy kit for myself to practice with before M-girl gets hers for her birthday.

I am going... to have a date with my husband Thursday night. My parents are taking the kids to the circus.  Trying to decide where to go :)

I am wondering... how the rest of the week will go.  Especially after my dental appointment tomorrow.
I am hoping... tomorrow goes better than today did.  First day back is often hard, and today was. 

I am learning... that I need to be learning.  Calligraphy, artistry of teaching, and was encouraged to study Latin and math 15 minutes a day besides.  I should do that.

In my garden... Last week was one lonely daffodil; today it's a dying daffodil and a lonely tulip.  Tulips are my favorites.  I see the peonies are starting to sprout, as well. 

In my kitchen... tomorrow I'm planning a beef and barley soup and side salad.  I planned on leftover beef from Saturday, but need to purchase some because we ate it all.

In the homeschool... we are slowly catching up.  We read about Callisto and Ursa Major and Minor and Cynosure today.  It was fascinating.

A favorite quote for today... 
A peek into one of my days... M-girl and N-boy are doing Teenpact on Friday and she needed a professional outfit. It wasn't as difficult as I expected to find something.

One of my favorite things... my crockpot ... especially during soccer season.  I am thankful I have two because I use them every day.

From the board room... I'm feeling the need for funny today, so how about my "Giggle" board:

Post Script ... National Geographic Kids has become a favorite gift for my niece and nephew. My SIL tells me that it's like Christmas each month when my nephew receives his. 

Linking up with The Simple Woman

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dawn and Heather Read Together: Own Your Life (Chapter 2)

This post is late because I was afraid of the topic after I read the epigraph from Leonardo da Vinci:
You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself ... the height of a man's success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment ... And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others." (pg 15, italics mine)
So rather than mastering myself, I procrastinated. The irony is not lost on me.

Self-mastery has never been my favorite topic; I'd much rather rest in my self-will. I do so enjoy my own way rather than submitting to even self-imposed requirements.

Self-governance was a theme at the convention over the weekend. That we become truly free when we are disciplined enough to do the work that is before us.

It turns out Clarkson only talks about that at the end of the chapter and then only briefly. It probably would have been better for me to have it be longer.

If we want to be free; if we want to walk in the paths of righteousness; if we want to live peacefully, Clarkson tells us that self mastery is necessary.  I like the idea she gives that I am 'stewarding my life.' To do so wisely, means to follow Jesus' call to self-discipline; to have a plan; and to rely on the Holy Spirit.

Can I learn to submit my will ... to sit and read on my phone or the internet ... to the need to study, fold laundry, clean, or play with my kids?  I want to do those right things, but sometimes it's a lot easier not to.

You can read Heather's take on Chapter 2 here.