Time to spend

Here it is 8:27pm–according to the imac clock–my husband is reading to the boys, who will be asleep soon, and I am faced with a myriad of choices.

Question: Should I…

a. Continue working on the ironing pile?

b. Start planning for the Cradle Roll Sunday school teachers meeting?

c. Prepare the activity sheet for this Friday’s playgroup?

d. Get tomorrow’s tutoring materials ready?

e. Read a book for pleasure?

f. Read a book to help prepare for the Youth camp talk?

g. Work on plans and communiques for the Homeschool concert?

h. Wash the dishes?

Answer: Your guess is a good as mine.

I am a chronic biting-off-more-than-I-can-chew-er and so I often face such to-do lists when I have a little ‘free’ time. Sometimes, I base the decision about what to do next on what I like. At other times, when I force myself to use reason alone, I choose the thing that is most urgent or the thing that comes soonest on the calendar. And when neither emotions nor logic help me to find an answer, I pray. Now really, for a Christian, this process should *start* with prayer rather than run the gambit of human wisdom and then turn to God when all else fails.

So, once again I am back to the battle between flesh and spirit. Lord, help me to choose the one needful thing.


Restoring Order

For several weeks before this one, things around the house had been getting further and further behind. I’d been sick, we’d had several outside activities on weekdays and very full weekends. Laundry was piling up; dustbunnies were threatening a violent takeover of nooks and crannies; my desk looked like a war zone; and the ironing basket was soon to rival the heights of the Himalayas. A friend once told me that she thought homeschoolers weren’t supposed to care what their houses looked like, i.e., schooling the children would take precedence over housework and everyone would have to live with it. The funny thing is, I know very well that this dear friend of mine cared *very much* what her house looked like, even when she was homeschooling her children. I’m sure she wasn’t terribly serious when she said this, but I had to strongly disagree with her on this point. Homeschooling or not, I find it very hard to get through the days when the house is messy, dirty and/or disorganized. While I have let go of the idea of *perfect* order, there is a minimum amount of order needed to keep me sane and to keep the home and homeschool running from day to day.

So the past few weeks, I was bordering on insanity–getting short-tempered and feeling very hopeless that I would ever find my way out of the housework pit I’d gotten myself into. I shared a bit of my feelings with my husband on Saturday evening…telling him that despite working and working for most of Friday and half of Saturday I didn’t seem to making any headway.

And then…a miracle occurred that helped to restore some order. My husband, who’d been a bit sick with a cold for the past few days stayed home while I brought the boys to a kid birthday party. He was happy to claim the excuse of being sick since he’s not a big fan of parties anyway. So I did my motherly duty and brought the boys there. When we came back to pick him up and go out for dinner, he told me he’d been doing housework! I almost cried with joy…dishes washed, clothes washed, floor swept. For him, it was one of the most loving and, dare I say, *romantic* things he’s done for me. He reminds me often that he’s a Chinese man, i.e., utterly practical and not very affectionate or romantic. So this was a real act of self-sacrificial love and I was deeply grateful.