And never have I taken off an entire month from blogging.
Until last month.
I didn't plan it. August was the normal summer crazy busy, but I held onto hope that September would be different. September would be a fresh page. In September I would find a better routine, scrape the tomato splatter off the kitchen cupboards, catch up on the laundry, and have time to enjoy books with my children on the couch.
I should have known better. I've had many other Septembers and they are all the same. August may be busy, but September is worse. Produce keeps showing up in my kitchen. We started school, but the fresh routine didn't go smoothly those first weeks. I always have a few school books waiting for me to check. I try to run faster and work harder, but I can't catch up with laundry and I ignore the sticky floor while I fill more jars. The baby decided she isn't a baby any more. She is learning to climb and her little grasping fingers find ways to reach things that have been put up out of her reach. The older children are a huge help, but keeping six children occupied takes more managing skills than I possess.
At the end of the day I have that knotted feeling in my stomach that comes from frustration.
I have more reasons to be grateful than to be frustrated. Even though my garden didn't grow well this year, I have shelves full of filled jars thanks to friends who shared their extras. I get to spend every day with six of my favorite people. The two-year-old's vocabulary makes us laugh every day. I enjoy wonderful books and great conversations with my children, every day. That busy baby has a huge grin that charms everyone who sees her.
It didn't take long to figure out why I was frustrated.
A mom's work is never done but usually I can get caught up enough by the afternoon to take a quick break during the little girl's naptime.
But in the craziness of the last month, I was irritated that I never got caught up enough to be able to sit down without thinking of the twenty undone tasks still hanging over me. The way I dealt with interruptions (you really don't want to know) revealed how selfish I am..
Alexander Pope said "Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." He might be right though I prefer David's quote on expectations..
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." Psalm 62:5There is One who never disappoints.
Which brings me to another problem I faced the past month - Bible reading. Actually it has been a problem for months, but I faced the problem and attempted a cure the past weeks.
September, like January, is a great time to evaluate progress and build new habits. I knew that my Bible reading was at an all-time low. I don't think there has been a time since I became a Christian that I've read my Bible so infrequently as this summer. (I warned you with the title that this post was going to be a confessional.) I haven't always done well at waking early enough to read my Bible in the morning but I usually found time later in the day, maybe at naptime. For years I have made it a goal to read my Bible before I check email.
I can give a whole list of excuses why my Bible reading has dribbled this summer, but they will only be excuses. I know that I find time for anything important so obviously reading my Bible hasn't been important enough to make time for it. And I miss it.
Do you start to get the idea why I've been online less the past month? I've needed to step back from some other distractions. Maybe I'll share in a future post a simple method that has been helping me focus on my priorities.
But lest I sound depressed (since I'm really not) I'll state that September was a very good month in many ways. Here is a small glimpse.
My boys hooked a drill to my food mill and made applesauce faster than ever.
We spent two wonderful days in Colonial Williamsburg. (Maybe I'll write more about this later.)
Ed has been spending his extra time in the basement playing with his new tool. He plans to use this cnc router in his signmaking and some other projects still in his dreams.
Our boys used the router packing crate to build a hut in the pasture - and slept in it two nights. This overgrown pasture has been their paradise this summer with constant building projects.
This girlie loves to help her dad with clean-up. (Don't ask why she is wearing a nightgown and rainboots.)
I also enjoyed meeting some Home Joy readers this past month - both in our home and at PennValley's ladies seminar. It is always fun to learn that there are real people reading here.
Now I'm enjoying October, relishing an emptier calendar, gloating over a full pantry, and pulling out all my great fall recipes using pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon.
And hopefully I'll be writing about it.