Friday, April 04, 2008

Mitten Strings for God - Chapter 3

Book study with Dawn from By Sun and Candlelight

Chapter 3 - Peace

The first thing I did before I finished the first paragraph was ask Terry to turn off the TV. No one was even watching it. The local noonday news was invading our home even without my knowledge. I have been addicted to TV since 7th grade. I had a TV in my room and spent most of my hours in there with it on. Even if there was nothing to watch, it kept me company. When I went off to college, my TV went with me like a trusted friend. It has gotten better over the years. Most days it is off during school (we had cable removed and that helps a lot), but most evenings it is still on. Just background noise often - like we need background noise in a house with six children!!! I love the sound of quiet - while am I still so often drawn to take a break and sit down in front of the TV?

Emily, Terry and I just got back from a trip to Goodwill. It was a nice and productive (that's Artie's word for the month - PRODUCTIVE!!) trip. Emily got a cute pair of sandals and three dresses. She has been wanting to wear more dresses lately and needed some new (or new to her) ones for the summer. I hope in a couple of weeks we can find a few more and she will be set.

Anyway, while we were walking around the store - it was a peaceful time. Troy and Brenda were home - but they are old enough where I don't have to worry about them while I'm gone. So much of my time is spent rushing to get back home to the children. It was nice to quietly walk around the store and just browse a while. Terry and Emily played with the games they had for sale. Peace can be found most places if we take the time to enjoy it I think.

One of the things we try to do to maintain peace is not to have too many outside engagements - especially in the evenings. With 6 children - it's hard not to have everyone going in different directions. Most of the children only have 1 thing that they are involved with after school - so we don't spend all our time running all over town from this to that. The little boys all take wrestling together - so that is exercise for all three with only one outing. Plus I gain a quiet hour to read!! (I finished my latest Amish book - The Brethren - by Beverly Lewis

and have started Mother by Kathleen Norris)

I am still hoping to get the girls in swimming this summer together - that will probably be in the day time - so again - will help leave our nights peaceful. I plan through my day looking ahead to the night and next day. Tonight Bobby has practice for the Jr. Miss pageant. No, you didn't read that wrong. :-) His gymnastics class is providing the entertainment for the Jr. Miss pageant. So, I've gather all the clothes he needs and everything is ready for him. Artie will enjoy his time with the other children while we are gone. Artie called today and said he has an opportunity to work some overtime tomorrow - so added to today's list is make sure all the clothing he needs for tomorrow are washed and ready for him. Hopefully all in a peaceful manner!!! :-)

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this chapter.

"Just as our children depend on us for three meals a day, they also need us to prepare peaceful spaces for them in the midst of this busy world."

Along with Dawn's favorite quote by Thoreau to love "a broad margin to my life' - the less packed into a day, the better."

"I am learning to leave some space around the edges of our days"

"The impact of just a few minutes of quiet attention can be profound, changing the mood of an entire day, restoring equilibrium to a distressed child, and to a frazzled mother as well."

How do you all foster peace in your life and in your family?

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