Late night Reader-Writer Ramblings

Ann Voskamp said that when she has trouble finding things to write about it’s because she hasn’t been reading enough. When I heard that,  I knew that was one of the reasons why I haven’t been writing much. As much as I know the writing is for my healing, my sanity, my introverted way of getting things off my chest, the truth is my days are full of laundry and refereeing boy-fights and pushing through checklists to get to naptime that I really don’t even want to think when the day is over. I usually do some chores in the evening and watch tv if I can stay awake. Reading feels like a luxury to me; being able to read would mean that I had some time left at the end of the day, that I didn’t fall asleep the minute I laid down on the bed at night. I keep thinking things will change–and they will as the children go older– but I don’t want the bad habits to take root and grow like a creeping vine over my soul.

I was reminded of how writing and reading are good for me (and at the same time unearthing many memories) while cleaning out old notes from college classes. I was amazed at some of the things that I read (and apparently comprehended) and wrote. I must have been a lot smarter back then.

Now I just like to watch crime shows.  I asked The Man one night, what it is about crime shows that makes people want to watch them. There are so many of them on tv nowadays and they are highly addictive. He answered, easily, lucidly—“because people like the truth. In these shows, the truth always comes out in the end.”  He was right; I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

While that may true and deep, the real reason I was watching tv that night was that I didn’t want to think about what an awful mother I had been that evening. I yelled, I jerked, I spanked the most sensitive of my three children. And I couldn’t take it back. All I could do was beg God’s forgiveness, and my son’s forgiveness and pray that God would help me change this horrible way of dealing with my children. No, I don’t want them to be disobedient…but what can I expect with the way I’ve been acting.

I told myself I should pray instead of watch tv that night. I didn’t. But I am trying to do it more now–I really need it. I have been trying to do nice things for the children to let them know I love them but somehow that is hard for me. I am much better at giving orders than I am at giving gifts. I am very demanding but not very endearing.

So I may not be writing much because I am not reading much. And I may not be loving much because I’m not praying much. My friend reminded me last week not to get too busy–that Satan uses that to keep Christians from living a fulfilled life in God. She’s right. Time to make space for the praying and the reading so that the loving and the writing will come.


What we’re reading–June 2010

What can I say? I love to read. I love books of all kinds. I feast on good literature. My life is enriched by a good story. So here’s what I have piled up by my bed at the moment:

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

I pulled this off the shelf a few weeks ago when I realized I was in need of a spiritual turn around. This hasn’t been an easy book to read, especially when I had been feeling very distant from God…but easy books don’t help me grow. Here’s a quote: ” What makes life worth while is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance; and this the Christian has, in a way that no other man has. For what higher, more exalted, more compelling goal can there be than to know God?  pg. 30

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Huh? Okay, I must confess, I really just want to read this so that I can say that I’ve read it. It’s been sitting on my shelf for several years. I’ve started it several times but never finished it. I thought I should read the books I have first before getting more from the library. I’m proud to announce, that while I haven’t been reading consistently, I have made it all the way to page 65.

Teaching the Trivium by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn

A friend gave me this book and I thought it a good thing to read for the sake of research about homeschooling. It’s not the most enjoyable book I’ve read  on homeschooling, and I’m not particularly interested in the philosophy behind classical education. However, I am trying to glean what I can from it in terms of stages learning that children go through and how and when to approach various subjects. I’m hoping the writers will convince me one way or the other about including Latin, maybe Greek in our homeschool.

With the boys we are mostly following the Ambleside Online year 2 reading list and #2 son’s requests.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

We’ve read this before, but when I saw it on the list of free reading for AO Year 2, I couldn’t resist reading it to the boys again. We’re about halfway through and often find ourselves feeling hungry after reading the many descriptions of the homecooked food the family ate. These people really worked, so when mealtime came there was no such thing as a fussy eater. The children were HUNGRY (especially the boys) and they ate everything given to them with gusto!  #1 son has been most impressed that Almanzo Wilder didn’t have to go to school until he was 9 years old. My how times have changed.

The Frog and Toad Treasury by Arnold Lobel

These stories are some of the best for early readers. We’ve been reading aloud to #2 son, with him helping us when he knows the words. All the stories use simple language but are cleverly written and often hilarious.

Of course there is more…but this list constitutes the bulk of the current bedtime reading!