Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Lately I've been learning that I need to learn to live in my giftings, whether in parenting, or educating my children, or managing my home. God made me a certain way, and when I operate out of God's design, I do so much better. As a result, yesterday and Wednesday were two of my favorite parenting days ever!

Instead of trying to complete all the assignments and check all the boxes in my teacher's guide while preparing Thanksgiving dinner for fourteen people, I decided to focus on enjoying my children and truly celebrating the holiday. Wednesday morning, we did math in the kitchen, measuring ingredients for pie crust. Wednesday afternoon, our science lesson included experimenting with what happens to hot liquid if you add corn starch to it while making cherry pie filling. We tried another version of the same experiement when we made apple pie (from scratch) and included corn starch - both fillings got thicker!

Thursday, we focused on home economics and turkey preparation. While I supervised, two of my daughters went through the steps to prepare turkeys for the roaster. We did two turkeys because of an economics lesson (it is cheaper to buy a smaller turkey when you already have one in the freezer) and a lesson in preparation (smaller turkeys thaw faster, which is helpful when Thanksgiving sneaks up on you) or what happens when you aren't prepared.

Both days were delightful. Everyone got in on the educational experiences - even my 22 month old daughter. She loved playing with the pie crust. My son reveled in his position as taste tester, though he would much rather of actually been a pie maker. While the turkeys cooked on Thursday, some kids played games with their papa while others watched a movie with their dad. It wasn't hectic, chaotic, or stressful. I relaxed (with my feet up!) and read the paper, getting a head start on my Black Friday shopping. And, when we sat down to the meal, I could honestly say that one of the most precious reasons I had to be thankful was my children. What a gift. This year, I am especially thankful for Thanksgiving, and the gentle reminder to be who God designed me to be.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it SNOW!

Winter may not officially start until December 21, but for the Rodgers family, it started today. We awoke to at least two inches of snow on the ground this morning. If not for the blessing of the Suburban (for details go to, our day would have looked MUCH different.

Since we had the Suburban, we were able to accomplish most of our tasks with little or no interference from the weather. Not being a "weather" person myself, I wasn't watching the satellite radar all afternoon. I just knew it was cold. Fortunately, I didn't' need to be watching the satellite picture; my husband was. He began celebrating shortly after 4pm, when he showed me on the National Oceanography and Atmospheric Administration website ( the forecast for a blizzard. His comments have been over and over, (with great delight in his voice) "I've never been in a blizzard before!"

About 9pm, much to my husband's dismay, he noticed the moon shining through a break in the clouds. We hadn't had enough snow yet!! We were supposed to get inches, not just a dusting. Well, as I head to bed, it is snowing quite well outside, the moon is no longer visible, and my husband is almost as excited as a school boy on the first day of vacation. That is a very good thing. Let it snow!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Grow Weary...

Yesterday was probably one of my worst on record, or at least it feels that way. Today, however, one of my children made yesterday all worth it!!

Our son, four years old, isn't necessarily very good at putting down the toilet seat. He doesn't always remember to flush. He doesn't even hit the bowl every time he goes to the bathroom. But, this afternoon when the toilet roll as empty, he knew just what to do!! He replaced the roll!!

Now, if that isn't a reason to hang in there with parenting, I don't know what is. Tomorrow, when the toilet hasn't been flushed and the seat is up, again, and toys are strewn from one end of the house to the other, I'll still be able to remember that my son replaced the toilet paper all on his own.

My favorite parenting verse comes from Galatians, and says (in Marchauna's Revised Edition), "Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due time you will reap a harvest, if you do not lose heart." Today was a harvest reaping day!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Can I really do all things...

My life is very full right now. I have seven children and I'm pregnant. I am teaching pre-algebra, multiplication tables, prepositional phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and reading. I'm teaching geography, ecology, home economics, and writing. All that plus managing a home and trying to keep my preschoolers out of trouble for most of the day.

This morning was a particularly difficult morning. Though I awoke at 5:30am, I tossed and turned until after 7am, too tired to get out of bed any earlier. Then, before I could brew a cup of tea or even brush my teeth, girls were asking me to help them with homework, to check final assignments, and to sign off on papers for the co-op we're part of. Without enough time to even eat breakfast, and with full recognition of my failures, yet again, we headed off to school, late.

As God walked beside me through the challenges, He gently reminded me that His love is not dependent on my performance. With the fog clearing and my mind was not completely absorbed in my failures, God's Spirit whispered in my heart the words from Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me." ESV

Sinking into my heart, the words brought to mind a song from Steve Green's "Hide 'em in Your Heart" series. The song is basically Philippians 4:13 set to music. As I repeated that song over and over in my head, I didn't do "all things." Instead, it became easier to do what was needed; simply do the next thing.

It is true. With Jesus, I can do all things! I don't need to do them all at once. I will never be "super mom." But, I can do the most important thing. I can keep putting one foot after another.