I feel myself being drawn back to the Elizabeth George books that helped me so much when I was beginning as a mom of three. I had to set them aside for awhile, because it got to where I was legalistic about the systems she recommends in her books. (I'm sure she wouldn't have any of us be dedicated to her systems to the exclusion of the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But that is what happened to me.) I have a Tennyson quote in my sidebar that talks about how our little systems are but broken lights that reflect the Lord for a time, and then cease. When systems cease to reflect the Lord, or when they begin to take their own form as god, they must be discarded.
Awhile back, I got very frustrated with systems and did away with a lot of them, until I realized how scattered and ineffective I was becoming. I don't want to live in fear that we will fall off of a system, but we do have to meet goals and deadlines in this life.
I am seeking the balance of planning and awaiting the leading of the Holy Spirit. This requires constant prayer, rather than the seeking of systems. I have tried many, and they all have their good points. What does the Lord want me to do?
Funny thing about the Lord: very often He only shows us the very next step. So I have become wary of making one time of year the Designated Time of Resolutions.
I like a good resolution as much as the next person, though, so here are some things I am aiming for:
1. Read the entire Bible this year. I have tried this for two years and failed.
2. Stay connected with my husband and kids. And I don't mean cell phones.
3. Less ordering and more communication (from me to the kids)
4. To see a renewal of joy (not that I think I will be in charge of making this happen, but it needs to go on the list so I can pray about it and aim for it)
5. More decisions made on the basis of what is best for our family in particular, or our kids individually, rather than based on what we think other people expect.
6. Continued focus on getting out of debt, even if 2009 turns out to be as much of a challenge as many seem to think it will be.
I really don't know what else to write-- I'm in more of a listening and waiting mode right now. Or it could be that I just don't feel good. I have a pretty bad cold.
I can write a book list, though. I have some books I want to read in the next few months. (I finished Watership Down today, in between sleeping and blowing my nose. A very good book. The AO Advisory did a great job picking it for Year 7. I'm still thinking of Woundwort's final decision to go for power at all costs rather than what was best for his warren, and how amazed they were when they found Thlayli was not the chief rabbit. They just didn't get the idea of liberty, did they?)
Anyway, here are some books I want to read:
1. Seeking the Face of God by Gary Thomas
2. Poetic Knowledge by James Taylor
3. Mothers and Daughters at Home by Charlotte Lyons (a book of projects-- I want to do some of them)
4. The Voyage of the Armada by David Howarth (I am halfway through this)
5. From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun (through Part 1-- I started it this summer, and then restarted it this fall with Triss)
6. I want to reread Wind in the Willows with Cornflower (it will be her first time through)
7. I want to reread Kim by Rudyard Kipling with Mariel (it will be her first time through)
8. Hard Times by Charles Dickens (I really need to read something Dickens besides A Christmas Carol. Something I read in the first part of Poetic Knowledge yesterday evening reminded me that he is making more of a statement about society than just how badly off are the poor. Something about how terrible it is to assume man is similar to a machine. Or some such thing. I need to see if I agree. But I find Dickens off-putting.)
I know the list will continue to grow as the year goes on. I usually have a huge stack of books I want to get through by the middle of summer, the result of me trying to quickly read through all of Triss' schoolbooks before the new school year starts. But I am not ready to look at those yet. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, you know.