Thursday, 31 March 2011
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Friday, 25 March 2011
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Monday, 21 March 2011
Sunday, 20 March 2011
We most often pay by credit card, but the secret is to use the card and not let it use you. We always pay off our card at the end of the month. We’ve used their money for free for a month and then have used the air miles to fly around the world. I think credit card companies must hate people like me."
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Friday, 18 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Friday, 11 March 2011
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
The last few weeks I have felt like I couldn't handle much more of the sleepless nights and clingy days with Benjamin. I felt it was very soon going to come to a head, and that, regarding the situation, "either thou, or I, or both must go with him!" (Shakespeare)
The last two weeks I have spent scanning sleep books, and consulting with a friend who is a sleep doula, specializing in infants. I gathered all the information I possibly could, and yet still felt as though I had not found a solution that would work.
Much of my scripture study of late has been very personal, much more so than ever in the past. Yesterday, after reading the assigned reading of a study I'm participating in, I was brought to the humble position of prayer and pled "Father, I know you can make him sleep. I am at the end of my ability and understanding. If you will, make him sleep."
I believed in all my heart that God could answer this request. But then Benjamin napped only 45 minutes yesterday, woke 4 times between midnight and 6am last night, and skipped his morning catnap altogether today. So coming to my time for study again today, I sought out more answers. And I found it.
One of my favourite passages is in the book of Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon. In chapter 24, it is written about a people held in bondage, slaves to ruthless leaders and his country. "So great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God." So great are my afflictions with Benjamin that my prayers, too, were mighty. Then the word of the Lord comes to them through the prophet Alma: "Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...I will covenant with my people and delivery them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage."
There are so many promises in this short passage. I learn that God will deliver the people, but that it won't happen right away. In the meantime, he makes the burden lighter to bear and gives them strength to endure. Sometimes he delivers you right away, sometimes he gives you the ability to bear the trial and come out stronger on the other side. It has partially to do with God's will, but even more to do with the grand plan of life. Sometimes I will learn and benefit from deliverance; sometimes I will learn and grow from endurance. Every time God is doing a specific work in my life and his plan is always the best plan.
Monday, 7 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
To be honest, I don't think my daily activities will be all that affected. I don't watch TV and rarely watch a movie anymore. I don't like the noise of the radio on overtop of the noise my boys already make. I don't have a smart phone, and I never use my cell phone. I don't even talk on the phone more than I need to just to get my message across (my average phone call lasts less than 2 minutes!) I don't play video games or computer games. I only use the computer to do our budget a couple times a week, and check my email and my Facebook messages a couple of times a day.
So the only real changes I need to alter are these: I will not be following other people's blogs this week, and I will only check my email once a day, in the evening. I have decided to continue writing on my own blog, because even though I do use media for it, I consider this my journal, which is an item of personal growth and reflection.
What I am most excited about is James' Blackberry. He will only be turning it on during work hours (8am - 5pm.) I know I've ranted and raved about the Blackberry before, so I will relish every moment it is off this week.
What I am least excited about is not putting on a movie for the boys while I prepare dinner. That is going to be really difficult. So, in essence, the hardest part of this media fast is not my lack of media, but the lack of media for my children!
But because I don't really have to change much in the way of my daily life, I don't think that is really accomplishing what the goal of this experiment is. The idea of shutting out the media is to tune into spiritual things more often, to "be still" more often, to reflect more often. Those are things I rarely get to do, even in my mostly media-free life. So I plan to use this week to work on my memorization of John chapter 15, work on my hymn medley choir composition I have started, and spend some time pondering and praying each day. I am also just about to write my goals for this week, and in writing those down, I intend to include items that will help me realize the purpose of this fast.
(By the way - I did really well with my goals from last week! There was only one I didn't get to - painting more of the trim on the stairs.)
All six of us women at my study table were moved by her story. So we decided not to be just moved emotionally, but to be moved to action. We decided that we would try and memorize our own passage. I came home and searched through the New Testament, flipping through chapter headings, studying what each book was about, trying to find the passage I am meant to learn now. I finally settled in the book of John, starting at chapter 15. My goal, to start, is chapter 15, but I'd like to do 15-17.
It's not easy, that's for sure. I always joke that I left my memory on the delivery room floor after having Colin, so memorizing entire chapters of scripture are going to be tough. It is assuring, though, that in the first verses of the chapter I chose, it mentions that without God, we can do nothing, and that we must have God's word abiding in us. I know He will help me in this.
(Our church is also preparing for a media fast for an entire week, so I will definitely use that week to get a good start on my mastery of John 15.)
Thursday, 3 March 2011
I should have gone to bed.
But I didn't. I never get quiet time to myself So I made some hot chocolate, ate cereal from a container (no milk), watched half a movie, and then told myself it was time to go to bed.
But I didn't. I then opened up the computer and my notebook and sketched out more ideas for a song medley I'm composing. I tried to work on it earlier, but the snatches I get during the day don't lend themselves well to inspiration. In a matter of half an hour I had the entire structure laid out, and most of the melody adaptations I needed. Then, if I went to bed right then, I could still have called it a decent hour.
But I didn't. I'm here, typing. It's just too tempting to spend this quiet time to myself.
One thing I should have done was make a grocery list, since my time to grocery shop is 7am tomorrow morning. Oh well. I can wing it with the best of them. Just please don't drop in for dinner this week unless you are prepared to eat whatever smorgasbord I've managed to throw together.
Okay, now I'm really off to bed. Really.
He went down for bed at 7pm. He woke at about 9pm, and I nursed him and put him back to sleep. James and I hit the sack around midnight (we had a friend over and got lost in a debate about capitalism versus communism.) Benjamin woke twice between midnight and 5am, and both times James got up and soothed him back to sleep within minutes. Then Benjamin slept until about 7am this morning.
Most notably, when Benjamin woke up, he woke up happy. I can't recall the last nap or morning he awoke when he wasn't crying, disoriented, and obviously still tired. There was a time when, although he was nursing every three hours through the night, he would at least wake up slowly. I would lie in bed and hear him start to rustle, cooing to himself, and after 5 minutes or so he would pull himself up and "call out" for me. In recent months, he just wakes up sobbing.
Also notable is the fact that both yesterday and today's afternoon naps were of good length, and he didn't wake an hour in, needing to be put back to sleep.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I have a good feeling about all this. So often I find that is the case: you seem to hit rock bottom in the situation and feel you absolutely cannot go on any further, and then things suddenly turn around.
(In this case...it's about time!)