Reformed Grits

Speaking of Christmas…
November 30, 2007, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Family

… do you have any "theme" or anything you collect in terms of Christmas decorations?  Anything you like– snowmen, reindeer, santas, etc?  I’d love to hear what others do for Christmas decorations or any neat thing like that. 

In the picture below you can see one of my big nutcrackers on the mantle.  I adore nutcrackers!  They are my favorite!  My first one was given to me by my beloved.  My mom has given me some.  I have bought just one I think.  A dear friend gave me a wonderful nutcracker playing the bagpipes in a kilt!  Since then I’ve looked especially for Scottish nutcrackers.  It’s amazing that they really are out there!  I have wee nutcrackers, ornament nutcrackers, and even one with a soccer ball!  I’m not a nutcracker snob– I like the inexpensive as well as the expensive (but I don’t really have a lot of those!) 

Some of my children were scared of them when they were little.  But that probably had to do with Mr. Grits chasing the kids around the house with nutcrackers making the things act like they were talking.  Heh heh heh…

I think my love of nutcrackers goes back to seeing the ballet many times as a child.  I loved going and "seeing the tree grow."  I don’t know if all versions are the same but to convey the fact that Clara was now "little" and interacting with the toys, the backdrop of their home with the tree on it was pulled up up up and it was actually a really long canvas (or whatever) with an ever-widening Christmas tree on it.   I’m sure I didn’t communicate that well, but just use your imagination.  πŸ™‚  <– (That’s a smiley, Wendy.   Oh, and an arrow pointing to it.  πŸ˜€ )  Anyhow, I loved going to the Nutcracker ballet every Christmas (well, many Christmases) and now I get to relive that memory with the fun nutcrackers I put all over my house!   So if you ever want to get rid of a nutcracker, think of me! 


To go with the stocking post….
November 30, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: Family


Be encouraged
November 29, 2007, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Faith, Life, What's she up to now?

So Caroline calls me today and says "What did you do today?" 
And I got to thinking… What DID I do today? 
I did a little bit– not a lot– of laundry and there’s still a ton to do. 
I did about 20 minutes of sewing and there’s still a ton to do. 
I did a lot of dishes… and they are all done.  (YES!  That’s one for me!)
Hmmm not really a lot else.  It’s sad.  A whole day invested… in what?  UGH. 
Nevertheless I take comfort in Luther…

Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says,
β€œAlas! Must I rock the baby? Wash its diapers? Make its bed? Smell its
stench? Stay at nights with it? Take care of it when it cries? Heal its
rashes and sores? And on top of that care for my spouse, provide labor
at my trade, take care of this and take care of that? Do this and do
that? And endure this and endure that? Why should I make such a
prisoner of myself?”

What then does Christian faith say to this?
It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful and
despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned
with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.

says, β€œO God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that little babe or
wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its
mother. How is it that I without any merit have come to this
distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy
most precious will? Oh, how gladly will I do so. Though the duty should
be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat,
neither drudgery nor labor will distress me for I am certain that it is
thus pleasing in thy sight.

~Martin Luther

Blog boredom
November 26, 2007, 10:58 am
Filed under: Weblogs

I don’t know what it is, but every "megablog" I went to today on my bloglines was BOOORRINGGGGGGGGG.  Even the ones that usually challenge me or tickle me (not putting in links because I don’t wanna point fingers and be ugly)  were so utterly boring that I just x’d out of them. 
So I’m saving you the trouble in case I’m super-boring today too. 

Have a great day!

Just thought I’d share this…
November 24, 2007, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Sports


Surely you know what I’m talking about….

Doing something different
November 23, 2007, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Life

I find myself in a season where I am doing what I have not normally done.  For years, my house was orderly and clean, systematically.  Years ago, I had a friend tease me about the cleaning chart on the side of my refrigerator telling what household cleaning chores I did every day to keep my house spic and span.  I did my ceiling to floor windows 3 times a week and vacuumed daily.  My day was ordered so that while dinner was cooking, the last thing I did before Mr. Grits walked in the door was to vacuum so the house looked like a realtor could walk through it for inspection.  It was often so clean that I would finish early and actually do things like watch a tv show in the afternooon, or sew, or read to my children, or even make an outing just for fun.  In the first of those days we had an 1100 sq ft townhome, which we loved, and then later in those days we were in a 1200 sq ft house, which we also loved.   (We have never moved for the sake of simply upgrading… we have always been forced out of our houses by the fact that we exploded out of them.) 
Recent years have brought us to a home that is bigger than I can manage, likewise is my family.  In these days I have been extremely frustrated and aggravated that I am no longer "on top of things" aka "in control."  God has prepared me for this time, by incidents of two years ago when things were beyond my control as well.  I was frustrated and angry… and broken.  When things get broken, they can often be bound together again, but they are never the same.  One of the ways my sameness shows up as changed is in the fact that I have been able to let go in my house a bit lot.  If we had moved into this house that I am unable to manage before I was ready, I would have had a nervous breakdown over the fact that my house is ALWAYS a wreck and the laundry is never done, the kids rooms are always horrific, and the bathrooms would probably qualify most days to have my children removed by DHR.  Do I like it?  No, I really don’t.  Would I love to be in my old smaller house?  Well, now I would but I was discontent while I was there.  God moved us here and I didn’t have a say so– we needed more bedrooms than the 3 we had.  I love the idea of a bigger house, but in practicality I would have loved to be unconventional in terms of our management. 
Currently our kids, when given an option or not checked, will all sleep in one room all over each other in two twin beds or on the floor.  If we had been free enough in our insecurities to do so, the ideal situation for us would have been to stay in the old house, remove the beds from one of the bedrooms (leaving Bee and Sugie in their wee beds in the other bedroom) and having the other 4 sleep on pallets on the floor.  What would people say!  Imagining these things, is why we didn’t do this.  It was " socially unacceptable" but they would have loved it and we could have stayed in our small house.  For us, the ideal was unconventional so we refused it.   
Like I said, I believe we were placed in this house– I often saw the scenario in my mind of us on a raft at sea, being taken by the whims of the wind and ocean.  That is how we arrived at our current location.  Given the fact that it was not by our "motor boat" that we came here, I have to be content and know that our new "unconventionality" requires us to live in chaos and occasionally squalor.  I don’t love it, and I don’t choose it; it chose me. 
So I am attempting to be content with this different thing.  Living in a home that in many ways feels like it doesn’t fit us, yet is still so much smaller than homes of many of our friends.  Living in a way that feels out of control. 
Yet now because of the way God has brought me to this place, I still feel the freedom to read to my children, to sew, or to occasionally make fun outings– even though the house isn’t inside "my box" of how I’d like to leave it.  I’ve come to the place that I embrace the fact that holding on to my children’s time at home is like trying to grasp water.  It feels weird still, and wrong, but it’s my new normal of the thing God made when He broke me.    

Count your blessings
November 21, 2007, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Faith

I love thanksgiving.  No pressure for gifts or overdone decorations. 

It’s just family, food, and gratitude.  (Hey, I should copyright that!) 

Top 10 things I’m thankful, in no particular order:

1.  My salvation, which is a free gift.  Heaven knows I couldn’t earn and don’t deserve it.  I’m thankful for a future and a hope

2.  My beloved husband, Mr. Grits who treats me like a queen, loves me in spite of me, and is my very best friend. 

3.  The privilege of bearing seven and getting to be mom to six.  My kids expose my faults and keep me humble; they sharpen me; they shower me with love; they enrich my life. 

4.  The health of my family as I think of a friend’s child who has been in the hospital for 20 days in constant, excruciating pain… and they don’t know why… and they can’t relieve the pain.  My heart breaks for them all and we have been praying for them constantly.  (You can pray for him too–his name is Tyler and he’s 11.)

5.  My church family who takes care of us and many of whom have become my dearest friends. 

6.  Great friends.  Life-long friends.  New friends.  Friends who are there in hard times.  Friends to laugh with over a glass of wine… or Starbucks… or ice cream… or in the bathrooms of ice cream shops… whatever…

7.  Sewing.  I can’t decorate.  I’m just an average cook.  I’m not crafty.  But boy, am I thankful for this creative outlet.  Give me good fabric and time and I will be one happy chick. 

8.  My kids school, and the opportunity I have to send them there.  I am thankful for the great education they are getting, and even more thankful that my mom is teaching Sissy this year!  It’s great to have her there! 

9.   Running cars, running water,  electricity,  air conditioning in the summer,   heat in the winter, internet, laptops.  I’m a girl made for the 21st century in a modern, service-oriented, industrialized nation.  Hey, I make no apologies for that– God put me here and I’m THANKING Him for it!  πŸ™‚

10.  I am thankful I live in a country where I can blog and say what I like, worship as I see fit, vote as I please, and share my faith freely.   For that I thank God, but I also thank my military service men. 

Have a wonderful day of thanks.