On Finding My Thing

JM-9341There’s this thing that I just realized. I guess I realized it years ago but somehow forgot for the past couple of years. Or maybe I started focusing on other things, often without realizing it, and slowly lost my direction. Instagram, books, blogs…basically the internet and all its fancy pictures and great advice stole my attention. What is this thing I’m talking about? Well it’s simple, but hit me deep…..do your {own} thing.

That’s it. Probably very obvious. But I am telling you it’s amazing how you can think you are doing your own thing, but realize that it’s really a combo of her thing, or that thing you read about, or the thing you think you should be doing. Mostly that one. Doing things how you think others think you should instead of figuring out what your own unique path should be, the path that God wants to lead you on.JM-9342

I think for me that comes from being surrounded by some legalism in my early twenties. Back then I wanted so badly to be accepted, so I listened when certain people told me exactly how I should do things. I figured that if I did as they directed I would not only gain God’s approval, but I would gain theirs as well. Looking back I realize that I already had God’s approval, and no matter what I did I would never gain theirs.

To truly live your life in the way the Lord is leading you is freedom. And you know what else? When you find your rhythm, your style, your groove….well, it brings peace. Ask me how I know.

Through watching dear friends go through health scares and crisis, I am reminded that I want to live this life to the fullest and in the way God directs me. I want to guide my boys to listen to the Lord above all others, to have confidence in Him, and not seek it through people’s approval. Hopefully, by living life that way peace will follow.


                                           Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him
                                     And He will direct your steps.      Proverbs 3:5


On Unexpected Rest

For the last 2 days I have been in bed. This long slumber was totally unexpected, but probably very necessary. Usually my days, as most people’s, feel like a never ending to-do list. Even if I do force myself to try and chill for a bit, my mind will keep racing with lists and thoughts of things to get done.  So, these past 2 days of forced rest to heal from whatever has taken over my body have been rather nice.  It allowed me to reflect on some things, to which I then felt more peace. I watched Pride & Prejudice, read several encouraging articles, finished a book, and started 2 more.The best part was that I started feeling like I wanted to do laundry again, I wanted to cook, and clean. Well, maybe not the cleaning part. I wasn’t feeling that well rested, but this forced rest did revive me (at least mentally, not fully physically). I started remembering my goals and and felt encouraged to find our rhythm again.  All from a little rest. A couple of days of minimal.

It mostly reminded me….and I have no idea how I forgot….that my family and I thrive when we have margin (open, unplanned time) in our day. Somehow with the beginning of school we lost that margin. I want it to be a regular habit, part of our natural daily rhythm. Some white space in our day for rest, however it is we define rest.

We’ve never been a fan of being too busy, and thankfully we’ve been fairly good at keeping things that way. I guard our family calendar fiercely. Rest was a whole other matter. So, the first thing I need to do is reprocess my thoughts…rest and margin in my day brings me joy and fills my house with calm. Busy days make me a bit cranky. Simple realization there. As we go through our days, I will remind myself of those things because FOMO (fear of missing out) will sometimes creep in. I know that I will wonder if it is really ok not to do such and such, or if I’m a good mom if I don’t have my kids in x,y, and z. Shouldn’t I be busy? I know the answers…yes, yes, and no! I need to push out the lies and fill myself with the truth (our truth-rest is essential). At the same time, I hope to start filling my table with hot dinners (where we eat together), and I will start un-filling my random sock basket, as I find more time to catch up on things that I never had time for before.

I have found encouragement for my pursuit of rest by devouring various books and articles on the anti-busy movement. I’ve started with It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil, and The Best Yes. As I flip the pages I feel relieved and hopeful. It’s as if the authors are cheering me on. And heck, who doesn’t like knowing that they aren’t alone in their thoughts? I’m eager to read a new book that has joined my pile, Simply Tuesday.

In a season of school, activities, and work travel happening….it may be hard to slow down a bit, but I’m going to do my best to try. If a couple of days of rest could make me want to do laundry and go through my unmatched sock basket, I can only imagine what 365 days with rest included in our day could inspire.


My Hormone Haiku

My Haiku

Hormones wreak
Havoc on the heart and mind
I need chocolate

Is that how you spell havoc? It didn’t show up wrong in spell check, but you never know. It’s been a day. A day where I feel all weepy, wonky, and annoyed. I decided to try and make myself laugh at the day instead. That’s why I wrote that little haiku up above. It represents my day. Seems that my husband had a similar day. He just came home from work and showed me his pants. Apparently, first thing in the morning they split up the back. Can you imagine? I chuckle just picturing it. Fortunately, he’s the type of guy that would laugh as soon as it happened. Still, it’s a good representation of the day.

I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to go with your hormones…..or split pants. Accept and understand how you are feeling…..knowing that tomorrow will be a new day. Those around me are learning this coping mechanism, too. My husband just walked in the room with a bowl of soup…..I asked him to please go in the other room because right now the sound of someone eating soup would just about send me over the edge. Fortunately, he’s the type of guy that also would chuckle at that and then leave the room.

Please don’t judge me. It’s just one of those days.

Have you ever written a haiku?

My husband just dictated one to me…..

Pants split
Man swallows pride

Thankful for mercies new each day {and that there are another pair of pants in the closet}.


Homeschooling Twins


I never imagined I would be the mom to twin boys, or that I’d be homeschooling. Through God’s amazing grace, I am doing both.During the 10 years I’ve been parenting my twins and the 5 years we have been homeschooling, I’ve learned that both parenting and homeschooling bring daily joy as well as daily challenges. I’ve often heard that it must be so easy homeschooling twins. It’s not as easy as you might expect.

Like any family with multiple children being homeschooled at the same time, I try to remain flexible, patient and aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each child. There are some specific obstacles that twins face. At times I experience people wanting to treat each of the boys as equals; equal in their likes and dislikes, creative ability, athletic interests and learning ability. They are sometimes treated so similarly that people even see them as one person. For example they may get one shared gift at Christmas or a birthday. And it is common for people to refer to them as “the twins” rather than by their individual names.

Since their birth, I’ve be very deliberate to treat them as individuals, never dressing them alike unless they request it, of course, which often happened when they were younger. I have always used the same curriculum with my twins, but that alone can cause problems. If one child is not “getting it” the way his sibling is, he can feel very discouraged. On the other hand, sharing a curriculum can motivate him to work harder because he wants to keep up with his sibling. It can get a bit complicated, but understanding how our twins groove, how they react, and what motivates them has been a big help.

When they were young, they enjoyed being similar, but as they have gotten older, the individual in each child has come rushing out. Thankfully, through all their changes they remain each other’s best friend. They can be conflicted about this at times, wanting to be similar, but wanting to be seen as individuals. If one expresses an interest or particular competency with a subject or activity, the other will often times want to participate as well even if it’s not their true interest or talent. Often the one without the “natural” capacity can become frustrated or discouraged that he cannot “be as good as his brother.” So one of the challenges of having twin sons is to keep each boy encouraged that he does not have to be like his brother and that he does not have to be as good as him in a particular talent or subject.

There are times that the desire to be like his brother benefits me as their teacher. If one child does not want to work on a particular lesson, watching his brother eagerly complete this same lesson encourages the other twin to do the same. Often I am able to just sit back and let this happen without coaxing. One child may ask “Well, what did he do?” Sharing that his brother completed the task is enough motivation for the other twin to give it his best effort.

There are other times when I feel like the ball in a tennis match. Because my twins are working on the same lessons, I find myself bouncing back and forth when questions come at the same time. Through these few years that we have been homeschooling, we’ve thankfully fallen into our own rhythm and have found our own personal way to remedy this. Patience, for me, is key. The thing about patience is that you never believe you have it until you are forced to use it. From their infancy, they have had to learn patience, for example while waiting for their turn at a feeding. I have had to learn my own patience in so many mommy ways.

In many ways, homeschooling twins is no different than homeschooling multiple aged children. The biggest lesson I have learned from being a homeschooling mom to twins is that though they may look alike, they are different. It’s taught me that one specific way to teach can bring about two very different results based on the child’s personality or learning ability. Realizing this fact has given me freedom as a mom. It has taught me to adapt and modify when necessary and to be flexible. From my experience, twins have an amazing and unique bond. I feel filled with joy as I’m able to watch that bond grow and change.

-Mary (originally published many yrs ago, but the facts remain the same)