Why I Named My Blog fiveof9

Thoughts transformed

With love in her heart, a mother tells her story.

Contemplating blogging was challenging enough.  “What is blogging,” I wondered, and “How do I do it?” After reading several blogs I realized that blogging is simply someone typing out their thoughts as they ponder them. So what can be so hard about blogging once a week or daily? Time, passion, values, commitment, choice…those are a few of the reasons one would consider, prior to answering the question, “Why I named my Blog fiveof9.” The reason I named my blog fiveof9 is because I am the fifth child of nine my mother gave birth to. I liked spelling out five and using a numeral for nine.

Using this name gave me an “identity” as a blogger.  Something fun and intriguing I figured. My true identity is simply that I am a child of God. That is my identity that grounds me in all of my decisions, actions and relationships.

The fact that I was the fifth child born gives me a “rank” that many in our culture will give much attention to. The belief that children born in between siblings tend to have certain behavioral traits that first or last child don’t. Rather than identifying myself with such mayhem, my identity in Christ is much simpler in that it encompasses one word and that word is, Love.

Love is what I move forward with and in. This side of Heaven (here on earth) I reside in my flesh and strive to be of love in all my encounters. I don’t always live up to that but it is always my goal. I allow myself the pleasure of grace as Christ has done for me.

To those of you that actually take the time to read this: May the love of Christ, by your choice of accepting Him in your heart, be the everlasting state of your heart and soul to share with others.

S T R E T C H I N G for Christ

Make the world a little kinder

Make the world a little kinder

As a homemaker and mother of two, my kids have always been a top priority. Understanding who Christ is, my first! Growing up, church was a place we went to every Sunday and Wednesday for catechism. What struck me a few years back about this schedule is that attending these services instilled in me some great truths and a great deal of memorized ritual. The values instilled in me are still with me today and my children experience that as a result.

Being a homemaker has it’s many challenges. Working solo is great, yet there are times when it seems so mundane and some days can be overwhelming. When I am feeling that way, I am thankful for the freedom I have to sit down in that moment sometimes and study my Bible. I marvel at the truths that have been revealed to me over the years. And as I am guided, my home reaps the rewards of my obedience.

Working through all my shame, learning what forgiveness means and finding out what “It’s not about you,” truly means, has allowed me to be a more peaceful mother. Letting go of all of these burdens has allowed me to break free of the perception of who I labeled myself to be. Going about my day is “all about me” in my actions about Him!

Looking up.

Looking up.

When my actions are about following Christ, I am S T R E T C H I N G for Christ. I am practicing every moment. I’m far from perfect! Obedience requires me to stretch!  I marvel at how much my attitude and actions have changed over time and I am truly thankful. The transformation of my soul because of my belief in Him humbles me. The confidence I once knew is buried and overcome by confidence of truth now.  The peace from trusting in Him is hard to describe. It surely has influenced my home.  The stretch is for Him and it is the power of the Holy Spirit that I am thankful for.

Making Christ a priority has molded me into the follower He so desires. I will never be perfect on this side of heaven but following a leader that is with me 24/7 simply guarantees that no matter what, He is always there. I have a Master with a plan, and in stretching myself in whatever direction, He will always be my center.

Homemaking is so rewarding. Following Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to move me is the best therapy, I could ever ask for. My faith has moved me into a new way of thinking and doing. I no longer need a “worldly” attitude to maneuver through society. Leading by example is one tough act to follow but I’m sure going to give homemaking my all by following a leader I can trust and am eager to obey. The reward is more than words can describe and homemaking has never been better.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is where the heart is.

May the love that Christ has for you and your home, give you guidance and an eager heart to understand all He so desires for you so that you too can experience a little of that most-wonderful feeling that permeates your soul and ultimately your homemaking.

Free With Respect

Reflecting pool of love.

Reflecting pool of love.

Free with respect? Is that what your home envelops? As “mom-in-chief” you can fill these shoes. Simply, it is our most-urgent necessity for respecting ourselves and those we nurture. How free from self-doubt, for the sake of respect, are you and how is that helping you nurture those in your home?

When you reflect love, feeling complete, freedom from condemnation, worth, acceptance, grace and truth, your interactions allow those that live with you to explore their reflection.  When you reflect control, fear, pride, comparison, competition, revenge and legalism so might those you influence. Build what you reflect, upon the strength of your Maker! He will encourage you and mold you into His most-desirable state. Submission and obedience unveils revelation and instills the core of which you were intended.

We see our kids best not with a magnifying glass, but with a mirror.

We see our kids best not with a magnifying glass, but with a mirror.

Clarity. Action. Perseverance. You are an amazing mother, with good intentions for those you are caring for. Be free from anything that takes you away from loving and caring for each other. Marvel at the fruits of your labor experiencing the maturity of growth. Both in yourself and those you are yielding to. Watch them in awe. Did you ever plant a seed and marvel at the force in which it was able to sprout out of the soil? Marvel at the strength it takes those you care for (that includes yourself) to move through their walk. Enable them to experience and discover who they are In-Christ.

With respect, truth and grace, nurture their nature. Establish the ground so that water will flow to their roots and allow them to grow free (In-Christ) with respect (to themselves and others) in their environment.

How do these words of encouragement, reflect my nature of growth, and encourage you?

With love.

Don’t Make Your List Your Master

dental and PTWith my eyes closed, the warmth of the covers embrace the new day. “Good morning dear Heavenly Father!” As I pray in thanks for a new day, it is not long after that I am pondering tasks for the day. Sipping my cup of “joe”, I relish the moment of peace and quiet. Centered In-Christ, I think about the list of things to do for the day. Somehow within the time I start thinking about all that I need to do and want to do, I lose my grounding and fall easily into such a negative mode! I think, “Where did my Father go?” Well, “He never left!”

Staying grounded is more of a question of, “Where did my thoughts go?” Sometimes homemaking can seem so arduous and isolating. I do love the autonomy though of being a homemaker and leading the charge. It’s the self-discipline that I continuously bargain with every day in my thoughts, my feelings of being overwhelmed and my actions that prove it. Without discipline I lose focus. Subsequently, lack of prioritizing and follow-through results into negative thoughts. Keeping perspective is challenging while being productive in the home.

Staying productive throughout the day is certainly attainable. There is only so much time in a day to devote ourselves to the purpose of our being. Planning your work and working your plan is an idea I learned many moons ago. Ya think I might use that! I love making a list to start my day and marvel at how many times I am distracted just trying to accomplish and focus on one of the tasks. A productive homemaker is one that continuously realigns their priorities throughout the day. Read that again!  Each day the demands of motherhood can move us off-track of what we set out to do.  Making a plan and having some “wiggle” room can alleviate a lot of unwanted negative emotions.  Knowing that your focus on your list will require flexibility.

Let’s simplify “productive.” Make a list of all the things you want to have done. Organize it into three groups, 1) tasks that need to be done today, 2) tasks that take more than one day and 3) tasks that require someone you hire, for example. The list of tasks on your daily list may include, prayer time, assemble lunches, make appointments, shop for project supplies, schedule/research vacation, call/read for advice, make dinner, shop for the week, clean floors, brush cat, family meeting, date with spouse, child or friend, help with homework. Tasks that take more than one day may include, plant a garden, hang collage of pictures on wall or perhaps build something. Tasks that require hiring someone like a remodel or home maintenance project.  Now go back over each group assigning tasks from each one to your daily list. Keep in mind things like phone calls, interviews and trips to stores. Each item listed requires an action from you to complete the project. Since you only have so much time in one day, only add what is doable in one day. This process helps you visualize what you can complete each day without getting overwhelmed with the whole picture. Looking at your list may seem overwhelming but it allows you to look at all the things you see as being important or of interest to you in your life.

There is only so much time in one day. Making that initial list is going to be key in showing you how much you would like to get done. This is your reality check!!!  Breaking that list down so you have manageable time each day to complete each item contributes to establishing self-discipline and direction. As you practice this routine, what you can accomplish in a day will become more realistic. Your choices each day become more directed and purposeful.  This process shows you what you choose to incorporate into your day. Whether it is perusing the internet, social media, caring for your family and home or a hobby, these priorities you are choosing give you a perspective of what you value.

Align yourself with your Master! (Caution: Don’t make your list your master) Make your list, refine your list, and move forward giving thanks throughout your day as you serve your Master, extending grace as it is given to you. Practicing these simple ideas may assist you in your selfless acts of love resulting in peace within yourself.  Being mindful and at peace is then projected in everything you do.

May your day be filled with laughter and love as you complete each task you have put before you. Be thankful. Share your discovery with others on this post so they too can overcome the idea that we don’t need to make our list our master!

Happy homemaking today!

Shoes Falling

Love Ann Voskamp!

Love Ann Voskamp!

“It’s time to go!” I called out to my daughter as she swiftly collected all she needed for school. Crash! Off the track goes the shoe rack.  Shoes falling off the shelf she struggles to balance and grasp both shoes.  “Slow down,” I suggest as she makes her way outside slinging her backpack across her back and bending over to retrieve her shoe. “If you slow down, you won’t get hurt and you can make your way with ease.” Those words left me contemplating my own actions as the front door closed.

Trepidation consumed me and I wrestled with the thought that lead me to a place of silence and solace.  Grounded, it was then, that I could see how shoes falling reflected the pace in which we live.  As “mom in chief” mode, I bowed my head for clarity.  Love, joy and peace covered my heart and each task before me I vowed would be covered in that reality.  So easily the choice can be made.

Like shoes falling off the shelf so too can my attitude.  Creating an environment that nurtures peace, love and joy is not something you are going to obtain without help.  Guidance for our children requires steadfast truths. Learning first yourself then leading by example.  What kind of leader are you following?  Do you emulate your leader’s example?  Keep your shoes on the shelf!

Walking in the shoes of a leader has many challenges.  Stand up to the challenge and learn new ways of leading those who are looking up to you for guidance.  Give them room to walk and guide them so the shoes stay on the shelf.

Have fun parenting today!

Driving My Thoughts Around

Transformation

Reminder of promise

Rushing over the windshield, rain, like thoughts, clouded my vision. Wipers erased the rain like thought-change relieves suffering pouring over my soul. As I started to hydroplane, a part of me lurched, as if I too, were slipping until corrected and realigned. Accelerated speed enhanced the downpour and the upkeep of the wipers cleared my sight.

Entranced in the beauty of the golden road, almost blinded by the reflection of the sun, my soul was captivated. Relieved; the rain was done. My thoughts were enlightened.

Embracing the sweet smell of fresh air only rain can provide. Cleansed and shining in a light of distinction between washout and wet. Every dust particle removed in newness and shine.

Do you ever wonder how your thoughts can take you down a most destructive path? Choice! Choose to turn your wipers on or remain driving with a clouded vision. Wipers provide clarity like truth provides light. Sometimes our wipers need adjusting to the downpour of rain like choice needs adjusting to the downpour of thoughts. Adjust your speed according to the conditions. And choose to use your wipers so when the rain that floods your view is cleared, clarity ensues and provides insight to the true you.  May your true colors shine like a rainbow in all its delight!