It’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure. As much as I love to write, my life seems to have other plans right now.
So if you’re wondering what’s been going on, here are the top 10 reasons why OHH has been so quiet lately:
1. Diaconate: The word is getting out so I guess it’s time to share with the world that Mark and I are in the beginning phase of discernment for Deacon Formation. I won’t share why now is the time for this to take place, I’ll let Mark share that when he is ready. I have wondered for a long time if this was is in our future, assuming if it was that it would be much later in life when our kids were grown. Then God let us know pretty clearly that the time is actually NOW. We have been on quite a ride since March with applications, interviews, and formation meetings. We have begun the first phase and will find out at the end of this month if we are asked to continue on with the next phase and potentially the next 4 years of formation. The process is a pretty big deal and includes one full Saturday and one entire weekend away each month for the next 4 years. The full weekend is 3 hours away so as you can imagine, this is a very big adjustment for our family of home-bodies. We would certainly appreciate prayers for this journey. Here is a picture of us on the morning of our first day of formation. Do we look as nervous as we felt?
2. Homeschooling: Can I just say, thank you Lord for the ability and opportunity to homeschool?!? Seriously, I love our life. Being here with the kids day in and day out can be daunting, yes. But there is absolutely no other place I could imagine being. With Diaconate happenings on the weekends it is such a relief to know that we get to be together so much during the week. Lessons keep us busy and activities, though limited, keep us on the go but seeing the true love of learning that these two kids have makes life so interesting. I feel like I am in 4th grade again and I love history this time around! Who knew it could be so interesting?
3. Daycare: With the 2 commitments mentioned already, we have made the decision to cut back on the amount of time that I am available for keeping our 2 little daycare girls. We truly love having them here but I feel like I really need to give more of my time and attention to our own kids. Time with our kids is so fleeting and this has actually helped their mom realize that as well and decide to cut back on her hours to be home with her girls more. So, we’ll be backing off to 1-2 days/week by the first of the year. For now though if I am sitting still it’s only because I have a baby and bottle in hand or a book and a lap full of kiddos.
4. Essential Oils: Our family has been so blown away by how much essential oils have improved our overall health in the time that we have been using them. We have been healthier than ever and have drastically decreased the number of doctor visits and medications we used to “need” to nearly ZERO. I love these oils and am so passionate about helping other people find health and wellness with them that this little hobby has become a full-on business and a huge blessing for our family and many others. I now get to combine my love for teaching others with my love for health and oils as I teach classes and educate people on how to live a more health-filled life. Feel free to contact me for more info on this if you are curious!
5. Simplicity: As beautiful as it sounds, living simply takes a lot of work. Whether it’s cooking and eating healthy, home-cooked meals, raising chickens, canning and preserving, gardening, and so on, it all sounds so lovely and old-fashioned and simple. But the reality of it is that it is a lot of work! It takes so much more time and energy than most modern conveniences but it is also so much a part of our life that I hardly notice. Our kids just assume that every mom makes all their own bread! We’ve had to explain the truth about that before actually.
6. Homesteading: So right now we have 22 hens and a rooster. A handful of the girls are new this year and for some odd reason that we can’t seem to figure out, they are being total slackers. Yesterday we got ONE egg. Seriously. We have been racking our brains, with the help of Google and many poultry sites, to try to figure out what is up. My garden is a serious mess that I gave up on back in August because it was all I could do to get out there and water it once in a while. I did get some canning in but not near as much as most years past. Trees need pruned, perennials need cut back, etc., etc. etc. There is always something to do around here. With the way our schedule has been we basically have 1 day of the week when both Mark and I are off work together and that day is Sunday. We have been committed for a long time now to keeping our Sundays sacred with resting and family time so we try not to work and do chores on that day. That means all the other days are a rat-race to keep up with everything that we ignored on our “weekend.”
7. Reading: I have pulled away from most of the online reading that I used to do and have found myself diving into some of the many books that have been waiting for me to find time for them. So if/when I find myself with a snippet of time I try to pick up a book rather than park it in front of the computer. Another reason for this is that when I sit in front of the computer, I work. That time is hit or miss so I have to be very intentional about doing what I NEED to do, rather than what I WANT to do. Along with the Diaconate also comes more reading and assignments so there is never a shortage of material in my hands to peruse.
8. Intentional Family Time: With so many demands on our time, we continue to be very intentional about the time that we spend together as a family. Whether it’s taking a hike, eating dinner together, playing a board game, or snuggling up on the couch with a good book, we take full advantage of Sundays and the times each day, no matter how long, to just be together and enjoy each other’s company. This doesn’t just happen though. It really does take some intentional planning and persuasion even at times. But it is so worth it.
9. Health: This month I accepted a 30-day challenge to work out. A group of lovely ladies help keep me accountable and on track with eating right and working out 5 times/week. The good news is that I have done it and in the process lost a few pounds and an 7.5 inches total! The bad news is that most days I don’t get those workouts in until 9:00 at night, often times it was even 11:00pm before I started. But it’s working and I feel great so I’m signing up to do it again next month!
We have also recently found that Lilly, and most likely Toby as well, have sensitivities to gluten and dairy. Learning new recipes and items to buy in order to get our guts healthy has been a big commitment but the results that we are already seeing certainly helps me to keep focused.
10. TIME: After reading through this list I’m sure it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why blogging here has just not been happening. I miss writing and I write so many posts in my head throughout the day. I just don’t take the time to plug them in here because my time is too precious. I know that God has a plan for all of this and when the time is right for me to spend more time and energy here, He will make it happen. Until then, thanks for hanging in there and reading whatever random ramblings I can share.
“There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8