Sunday, September 28, 2008

All Safely Gathered In- Part One

Lately I have been feeling more of a push to get my family and home prepared for emergencies. (read: FOOD STORAGE, etc.) And with the economy going who knows where, I'm feeling it would be wise to get back on the "preparation bandwagon" and put into action all the things I've learned-- and sometimes done-- over the years.

A couple of things have inspired me again in my quest for preparedness. First was a survival experiment (simulation) done by a lady I met online. Luckily, she did blog a bit about it, and you can read about the experience here:

One of the things that she discovered, is that what we think might be enough for our family to live on, is not usually accurate! (I found that, too, when we lived with similar circumstances-- more on that further down!) Her "Suffering Simulation"  got me thinking, so I did some looking around "YouTube" and found a video that features LDS women explaining their food storage supplies, and how they gather, store, and use their food storage. I was especially impressed with the last lady on the video. I could see that she was probably the only one who had a full year's supply of not only food, but all the non-food necessities, as well. Here's a link to the video:

Just about one year ago, my husband and I attended an amazing fireside done by a great lady here in our area. Her name is Wendy DeWitt. She handed out a booklet that helps figure out how much we need to store of certain foods, (complete with recipes) and talked about all the different ways to store a variety of foods. She did give all of us who attended permission to share what we learned from her. She just wants to get the word out, and I feel the prompting to spread the information, too. So keep an eye out for her great ideas in the future!

Lastly, I wanted to link back to some of my former posts on food storage and some lessons we learned in our home when we were going through a time of scarcity.

We CAN prepare ourselves and our families for unforeseen troubles. Remember, if we are prepared, we have no reason to fear! So let's get started, shall we? Let's start with a small goal of 3 months storage and go from there.

I'll be back with a new "All Safely Gathered In" post next week. Until then, I have a challenge for all my sisters: * Take time this week to go through the food storage you have and WRITE IT DOWN in a notebook or binder that you will set aside for food storage/preparedness. Record what the food is, and how much you've got. Then walk around your home and record where you can store some food.

We don't each need a big store room or fancy shelves to store food. I'm betting you have some space under beds, in closets, basements, crawlspaces, or under stairs. Write those spaces down, considering the potential of each. And feel free to record what your "ideal"circumstances would be, but recognize that we cannot afford to freeze up and panic due to our perfectionism. We are just going to do what we CAN right now. So, ladies, find a notebook, some paper, a pen or pencil, and start evaluating! We CAN do this, little by little. Who's with me?! On your mark, get set, and... GO!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“The Freedom to Fail is the Freedom to Succeed”

I grew up believing that failure was unacceptable. From the time I was tiny, I learned that mistakes were unpleasant things I needed to avoid at all costs. Being the eldest child in my family, I wanted to please the adults around me, so I did all I could to excel at everything I attempted. In most of the arts-- especially the performing arts-- I was successful. But those things that fell short of my expectations were discarded and pushed completely out of my life. (Math was never one I could completely avoid, but I sure tried!)
I have always had confidence and ambition in my talents, and I worked hard in my youth to meticulously develop and grow them. I joined all the groups I could, performed regularly, and practiced constantly. But I look back on those years now, and see all of the challenges, (such as academics) that I casually abandoned because I did not see immediate success. In the areas of study that interested me, or were intuitive, I thrived. The subjects that would have challenged and pushed me were given up, if they were even attempted at all. I wonder now if I would be a different person today if I had pushed through the unpleasant failures and turned them into successes. Could I have overcome those things that did not come easily to me?
This tendency to reject the difficult and focus only on my strengths is a behavior I still struggle with today, although running a household and being a parent have brought more balance to my expectations. I have been forced by failures and circumstances to learn to “lower my standards” and find joy in the little victories, rather than expecting perfection in my efforts. One of those unchangeable circumstances I've faced is that housework is never done, and never CAN be done. I've finally realized (after 16 years of running a home) that there will never be any accolades or parades in the streets for doing the dishes or for placing clean underwear in drawers. 
With nine children, I can not take care of household duties and children on my own. Though my husband is a great help, he cannot be home with me throughout the day. It took years of reading homemaking and parenting books, that helped me finally let go of my stubborn determination to be perfect (while wallowing in guilt daily that I could not attain what level of perfection I felt I “should” be attaining). 
For example, some of these epiphanies came from Marla Ciley “FlyLady”, her e-mail list and book, “Sink Reflections.” She talks a lot about giving up our perfectionism, and accepting that “Housework done a little at a time still blesses my family.” I learned that a mere fifteen minutes on a task could put me that much closer to a clean house, and it made me feel good to accept my limits, and not demand so much of myself. Then, because I freed myself from my unbalanced expectations, I was able to accept the contributions of my children with more gratitude and praise, and with less comments about how they could have “done it better/right”.
Parenting is another area that has changed my perspective in a big way. When my older children were small, I now realize that I expected far too much of them. At the time, I really was trying to be a “good” parent by demanding adult behavior of my little ones. We were always complimented on how “well-behaved” our children were, and that just added fuel to the fire of my pride! Then, when those children grew, and more little ones were added to our family, I came to realize how fleeting childhood is, and recognized that I had done my 0lder children a disservice by expecting too much, too soon. 
Luckily, we found and implemented the TJEd principles in our family culture, and I was able to back off of my conveyor belt mentality. Then recently, my husband and I took a good look at “Love and Logic” principles, and tried them in our home. Our relationships with our children have improved an hundred fold, and we have finally been able to let go of our impractical ideals of what their “success” should look like. Like Ralph's dad in the book Little Britches, we are now letting natural consequences and real work, rather than the contrived, teach our children. And we've saved our relationships with them in the process. Their confidence is soaring, and they are going far and above our expectations in their efforts because they are choosing their own paths and overcoming their own obstacles. All we had to do was teach them correct principles with love, and then stand out of their way to allow them to fail or succeed on their own.
 Today, I am still finding a fine line between giving something up out of discouragement, and being able to accept my limits and say “no” to things that are not right for me, at present. (Not being able to say “NO” is another weakness of mine for another blog entry...) But as I look back at where I've been, and can see how far I have come, I am finding that I can more easily accept my failures and learn from them: I can endure many pregnancies; I can teach  a Shakespeare class my way, without guilt or apology; I can fulfill my duties at church, and learn valuable lessons in difficult circumstances; I can study my scriptures and pray and take a quiet hour each day to commune with God; and yes, I can even survive writing a paper for my Five Pillar book group! 
I hope that my children are watching, and that they can see that the difficult things in their own lives are challenges they can tackle, without abandoning them. And I'm watching and learning from my children, as well. I can honestly say that my failures are giving me the freedom to succeed, too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Marriage Protection Amendment

Dear Friends,

Those who are familiar with this blog know how strongly I feel about the family and the traditional roles of fathers and mothers.

Marriage is the essential ingredient in any successful society, and now is the time for the many who believe in marriage to stand up and make a difference!

The following is a very uplifting and inspiring message that we can share with others. Let's make this message spread like wildfire! We need to share the link via e-mail, post it on your blogs, get it "out there" any way we can. We must stand together and make our voices heard.

The institution of marriage and the families of today and the future deserve it! VOTE TO SAVE THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE ON NOVEMBER 4th!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Something Positive!

I hope I haven't been too negative here lately. Sometimes, it's easy to get bogged down in in this day and age, but I thought I'd cheer things up around here a bit, and let anyone who visits here know that life and motherhood can be sweet and full of joy!

Last night, a great lady I admire shared a quote with me from Stephen R. Covey's book "First Things First." It has helped remind me why I became a mother in the first place, and gave me the courage to move onward and upward, while finding joy in the little things-- or little ones-- in my life.

To set the scene, Mr. Covey said this to his daughter who had just become a new mother and was feeling overwhelmed: "Just relax. Relax and enjoy the nature of this new experience. Let this infant feel your joy in the role of mother. No one else can love and nurture that child the way you can. All other interests pale in comparison for now.." And then he added this comment: " the short run, her life was going to be imbalanced... and that it should be."

I'm so thankful to be a mother, even on those days that make me wonder what on earth I was thinking! LOL! We can do this, fellow mommies, if we only look for help from our Maker.

The babies will grow, and will someday be gone. But the lessons we are learning now about motherhood and charity will stay with us always. So kiss those little peanut-butter smeared faces, and snuggle those wiggly little bodies. This too shall pass, and we'll be so grateful that we were a part of it all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...