Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Is It Too Soon to be Thinking About Christmas?

Today I was in need of a journal.  I have a collection of notebooks that I've written in throughout my many years.  I pulled a pretty one off the shelf.  It was one I had written in for several months back in 2008.  It had many blank pages in the back of it and I wanted to see if it would work for my current needs.  I read through my 2008 writings.  They were from September through December of that year.  It was fun to see what I was doing, what my dreams were as well as my feelings.

One thing I wrote about was the stress we went through during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I had made the comment that it seems as if every year it is stressful at this time.  The stress comes from a variety of sources.

Another thing I had written was my strong desire for peace in the home.  I wanted peace and organization as well as joy in my home. 

I know it is unrealistic to expect those things to occur constantly.  There are times when my home feels like utter chaos.  I have noticed over the past 4 years though, that peace, organization and joy occur more often.  I don't feel some of the stress that I felt 4 years ago.  Some of this may be due to the fact that we have continued to live in the same home.  Where as before, we seemed to be moving every 2 years.  I think over time I have fallen into a good routine to keep the home running relatively smoothly.  (We still have chaos though!)

So as I read back about my feelings during the winter holidays, I got to thinking that it really isn't too early to begin planning for Christmas.  I've added to my list of 14 things that I want to accomplish this summer to include one more.  Number 15 is to complete any homemade, handcrafted gifts that I want to give this year.  I know these will include machine embroidered towels for family members as well as making a number of hand towels to give to special friends and neighbors.  If I run across creative ideas that I want to give as gifts when summer ends, I'm going to keep a list of those ideas and they can be used as gifts for next year.  Finishing these homemade gifts this summer will be a big task done that will help keep stress from the holidays.

The picture above shows the three handtowels I made for my mother and gave to her this spring.  They are hanging in her bathroom.  The towels were $1 each at Walmart.  The embroidery thread I had on hand and I purchased the trim at JoAnns.  The designs are an Anita Goodesign and it is from the "Spring Curls" collection.  Making up some hand towels like this but in Christmas designs is my homemade gift-giving plan.

Love and Blessings,
Nancy

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Too Busy" are Sinful Words

For the last 15 years or so, I have felt the words, "too busy" are almost sinful in nature.  I have heard those words so many times.  Not only to me, but in casual conversation with people to other people.  I can be understanding of this response, "I'm too busy".  Sometimes we are "too busy" to do what may be asked of us.  Many times though it is a pat answer because it is something we just don't want to do.  So to get out of it we say we are too busy. 

Anyway, around 15 years ago I found those words coming out of my mouth and I didn't like myself for that.  I wasn't too busy.  I just didn't want to do what was being suggested.  Which that is fine, I don't have to always do what others ask.  I could easily fall into the trap of placing too much on my plate and not doing my duties as a wife and a mother. 

I decided it was time to place certain limits on what others asked of my time.  As a side note, I do feel everyone should in some way volunteer in some capacity.  For some, it can consist of very little time, but something, as so many organizations require volunteers to make it a better place.  I decided my volunteer work would be at church.  I teach a weekly hour and 15 minute lesson throughout the year.  During the school year I teach 1st graders and during the summer I teach teenagers.  My friends know this.  When my friends choose their own project they want to work on and say to me, "Hey Nancy, would you help with this good cause?"  I politely now say, "Thanks, but I'm putting my volunteer hours in at the church and I know my limits.  It was thoughtful of you to think of me though."  I think that comes across as being much more polite and truthful than saying the words, "I'm too busy."

Yesterday though, I found myself being placed in a 'too busy' situation.  It was my own fault.  I fell short of meeting other's, friends, expectations.  I fell short of my duties as a homemaker.  I didn't meet my own needs and that made me feel awful on the inside.  I have a couple of friends I really need to set some boundaries with who feel they can take of my time as they wish.  I don't want to hurt their feelings so this is going to be hard.  I'm going to use my calendar more, much more!  I'm also thinking I need to be more scheduled and less flexible to jump to the phone or jump in the car at a moment's notice.  I have do have time in my schedule for my friends and for all my activities.  Sometimes I just don't have as much time as they would like to take of me. 
God's Blessings to you all,
Nancy

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