Monday, December 31, 2012

Home Alone - Day 9

I am so bad!  I am late with another daily home alone post ... what are we all to do with me?

Day nine was not quite as restful as days 7 & 8.  I left Piper, EJ's puppy, in her puppy playpen in the basement while attending church.  When I arrived home she had figured out how to escape her playpen (I assume she climbed onto the top of her pet crate and jumped over the enclosure).  She had made quite a mess in the  stairwell, mudroom and kitchen.  I scolded her, put her outside and spent about an hour cleaning up after her.  I've also removed her pet crate from the puppy playpen and placed her dogie bed directly on the concrete floor.  We'll see how long it takes her to figure out how to escape now that she doesn't have anything to climb upon.

I am very frustrated with the U.S.Postal service.   The packages I mailed the big boys for Christmas have arrived late or not at all.  We also have a monthly bill that, after 4 weeks, has not been delivered.  JP finally received his gift box - BUT AB and BT have not received theirs.  I spent an entire year making BT's homemade gift, it is not something easily replaced.  I have a very foreboding feeling that both AB and BT's gifts were stolen after being left on door steps.  As inconvenient as it is for the boys, it appears that I will have to require signatures for any future deliveries.  Please don't leave comments about using UPS as an alternative shipping method - Their track record with me is even worse than the U.S. Postal system.  I simply can not understand why I have had so many issues with packages & mail that I send since moving to eastern Montana - regardless of the shipping company I choose.  The common denominator is that all the packages and mail I've had issues with were sent from our local town.  I have not had any issues with items sent from our neighboring town.

My ankle has improved greatly - thank you for your prayers.  The swelling is considerably reduced and I am walking well without much pain.

I recently received a few anonymous questions in the comments section of my article on Biblical Submission. Although I responded in the appropriate comments section I thought I'd also take a few moments to respond in a post.

The questions posted were:
"Do you ever.miss your freedom? I know is voluntary, its not.really slavery (as you mentioned). Do you miss having choices on what the direction of your own life will go? Does your.husband order you to do anything stupid (not illegal, just.not.sensible)? Do you have.any boundaries, such as will not.obey?"

These questions were left in the comment section of Biblical Submission - Part 1.  I hope the inquirer took time to read parts 2-4 in their entirety.  I hope he/she will come to understand that Biblical submission and abuse are NOT synonymous terms.  Biblical Submission is about submitting one's will to God's plan and design for marriage. Many years ago when I realized that most of the conflict in my marriage was a direct result of my lack of respect and honor toward my husband, I also realized that the ONLY way I could ever Biblically submit to Mr.B was by learning to submit to God and His plan for marriage.  

So, question 1. Do I miss my freedom?  
Since I live in a no-fault divorce state, it would be quite easy to leave my marriage if I chose to do so.  Biblical submission does not encompass a husband controlling his wife's comings and goings.  It is about respecting one's husband as the leader of the family.  Biblical submission is about fostering a husband's trust in his wife.  Mr.B is 100% confident in me.  He trusts me because I've NEVER given reason not to.  He is fully confident that only death will separate me from our family.  Thus, there is no reason for me to "miss my freedom" OR for Mr.B to ever be concerned regarding my comings and goings.  Biblical submission relates to my integrity as a person and my consideration towards others.

Question 2.  Do you miss having choices on what the direction of your own life will go?  
I laughed out loud when I read this question.  Why?  Because I've been a mother for almost 29 years.  Mr. B does not nor has he ever controlled my life choices.  Reality check:  if I wanted a different life than the one I have, I should have made different choices 30 years ago.  When I chose to have a family, I chose to always put their needs before my own wants, desires and goals.  When one chooses to have a family, whether that family is just a husband & wife or whether 10 or more children are added to the mix, the husband & wife should be mature enough and responsible enough to put their own selfish and childish desires aside for the needs of the other family members.  If the husband and/or wife are not willing to do so, then they are in great need of repentance before the Lord. This aspect of biblical submission is not about a husband authoritatively directing his wife's life choices. It is about the husband and wife putting the needs of the family before their own wants.  (note:  needs and wants are not synonymous terms)

Questions 3 & 4.  Does your husband ever order you to do anything stupid (not illegal, just not sensible)?  "Do you have any boundaries, such as what orders you will not obey?"
Biblical submission does NOT encompass a husband aggressively reigning over his wife, commanding her here and there.  Biblical submission is about learning to work together as a team.  In our family, Mr.B is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  I am the Chief Operating Officer(COO) and, because I am so detailed oriented, I am also the Accountant.  As the CEO, Mr.B, generally sees the big picture.  He sees what direction he'd like our family to go.  As the COO, I am in charge of all the little details to help get us there.  If  a challenge arises that I do not know how to handle OR if my efforts are not achieving the desired results, Mr.B and I work together on finding a solution.  I respect Mr.B, and because I am ALWAYS honest with him, he respects me.  I have no need of worrying about what I will or will not obey because Mr.B is a respectful person who does not order me to do anything, much less something immoral, un-biblical or illegal.  I am Mr.B's closest confidant, best friend and co-captain.  We are a team and without each other our entire family fails.

I sincerely pray that the worldly misconceptions of biblical submission that the women's liberation movement brought us, will be shattered.  Biblical submission is most simply defined as, recognizing that the husband and wife are a team.  The husband is the captain and the wife is the 1st mate.  A well organized ship does not run smoothly with two captains nor with two 1st mates.  Biblical submission allows the husband to take the helm as captain with his wife steadily by his side as 1st mate resulting in smooth sailing for the entire family.

Well that concludes my posts for day 9 on being home alone.  Mr.B and the children are planning to arrive home tomorrow or Wednesday, depending upon road conditions.  Sadly, I will most likely not be able to post daily as my time will be directed toward the cares of my family.  Although I have thoroughly enjoyed these past  10 days of indulging myself, I am looking forward to the return of those I love most.  I only have a few short years left with OG and EJ before they head out to make their own ways like their older brothers.  Then Mr.B and I will be left with nothing to do but annoy each other between visits from grandchildren.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Home Alone - Day 8

Nothing exciting to report.  Since my ankle is swollen I've been trying to stay off my feet as much as possible and chores have been slow.  I spent most of my time today working on a crochet project.  I hope to have it finished by Monday evening.

This week has given me an opportunity to realize how much laundry my family dirties and how much food they eat.  Eight days alone and I've had only one load of laundry, one dishwasher load of dishes and cooked only two meals - I have plenty of leftovers.  If my family were home I'd have washed at least 2 loads of laundry every day and I generally spend at least 5 hours per day in the kitchen cooking meals that result in few leftovers.

Today was Mr.B's 2nd cousin's very formal wedding.  From all accounts it was GORGEOUS!  OG very much enjoyed dressing up and attending this fancy event.  Mr.B bought EJ new boots, a new belt and a new sports coat. It is reported that he looked very dapper.  I am eager to see the photos when they all return home.

I have abundantly enjoyed the quiet.  I am sort of dreading all the noise that will return with my family.  Yeah, call me weird - as much as I love my family (this home alone adventure is proving that they encompass my WHOLE life), I do not miss the noise that accompanies them.

Till tomorrow ...

Home Alone - Day 7

I am late publishing Day 7's post.  On the way into my office last night, I severely twisted my ankle.  I heard a loud pop and then came the excruciating pain.  At first I was almost certain I had broken my ankle.  However, after 4 Advil (2 taken immediately after the incident & 2 taken before bed) and a good night's sleep, I believe I've only sprained it.  Morning chores have been slow as I've limped around in 6" deep snow  hauling feed sacks and water buckets.

So, how was day 7?  Aside from injuring my ankle, very restful and mostly peaceful.  I say mostly peaceful because during my phone conversations with my family, EJ attempted to engage me in an argument.  The second time within two days.  We are not even in the same house and he's not having to obey or even try to get along with me yet, he decides to pull his regular antics.  This upset me considerably.  I was hoping that time away from mom would cause his heart to grow fonder.  No, there is not one single indication that he's missed me.  EJ has, thus far, been my most difficult child for his age.  He isn't a "bad" kid, he just likes to ignore me and argues about EVERY instruction I give him.   He is obedient and gets along well with Mr.B.  Other people compliment me on his behavior and helpful attitude.  He, for the most part, gets along pretty well with others - just not his mama. On the other hand, OG started crying saying she misses me and Mr.B is thinking about packing up and leaving for home tomorrow, two days early.  I don't do drama or changed plans very well.  I like consistency.

Well, I'm off to prepare myself some breakfast.  I'll post about Day 8 this evening, so "tune back in".

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Home Alone - Day 6

It's been 5 days since I last washed laundry - I still don't have a full washer load.  Leftovers from two meals cooked before my family left and one take-out meal have fed me all week.  Although I drink a large glass of milk with breakfast every morning, I still have more than 1/2 a gallon.

It has been snowing, off & on, for the past three days.  It is beautiful outside.  Everything I view is like looking at a winter scene on a Christmas card - gorgeous.  (no photos - OG took our camera on vacation)

Since EJ's been gone, I've been in charge of training his puppy, Piper.  She is beginning to catch on.  She comes when I call her name.  It also seems she is beginning to understand the word, "outside".  I hope EJ is consistent when he returns home so Piper continues on this positive trend.  It is obvious she, and Sam our older dog, miss OG and him.

My day was another excessively lazy one.  Do I feel guilty?  Not at all.  All the chores are done and the house is clean.  Since I'm the only one here, it stays that way.  I have come to realize that I need the rest.  I anticipated having trouble sleeping at night due to a significantly slower pace of life and much less work. On the contrary, I've slept very well at night even with a little catnap during the day.  A sure sign of exhaustion.

Speaking of sleep, I'm going to turn in.  Praying you all sleep well this evening.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home Alone - Day 5

Today was truly a LAZY day.  I began the morning visiting via telephone with Mr.B and then with Mrs.A.  Thus, I had a late start with the morning chores.  Thankfully the animals did not seem to notice that I was running late with feed and water.  Aside from deep cleaning the master bath, I've done nothing productive today.  The evening is being finished with a hot aroma therapy bath filled with a generous portion of eucalyptus spearmint stress relief bath soak
During my home alone time I have discovered that during winter months here in the freezing north, I am need of a set of flannel sheets.  Every night I've climbed into bed the sheets have been freezing cold!  Maybe I will be gifted with a set for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.
I very much enjoyed this lazy, quiet day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Home Alone - Day 4

Christmas Day.  I received FOUR separate invitations to Christmas dinner.  My personal desire was to decline all of the them, however, the 1st person to invite me was one of our community's senior citizens.  Her children and grandchildren, save one never married daughter, live out of state & do not travel to eastern Montana during winter months.  Ms.SP seemed so desperate to have another person spend the day with her and her daughter, I couldn't bring myself to refuse her invitation.  I took a couple dozen eggs for a hostess gift and a pumpkin pie as contribution to the meal.  When my family left to travel south, I had envisioned spending a very quiet day lounging on the sofa watching cheesy Christmas movies & eating bowls of popcorn.  Ms.SP seemed truly delighted to have me as a guest today and after all was said and done, I am very glad I accepted her invite.

All my lounging plans were not put aside.  I was home by 3:30, an entire hour before dark.  I finished up the farm chores, put on my most comfy clothes & wool socks, popped a bowl of popcorn and enjoyed two Christmas movies that Mr.B and the rest of my family would NEVER watch with me - LOL!

Although my day did not go as originally envisioned, I feel so abundantly blessed by our community.  These families and individuals conveyed a sincerity in their invitations that I've never felt before.  I sincerely feel like they really wanted me to join them - it does not seem their invitations were extended merely out of pity (which is a good thing because I was not saddened, in any way, about the prospect of being alone today - I have been blessed with the gift of rest, something I am in great need of).  That communication of sincerity has turned out to be a most precious gift and has abundantly blessed me.

My plans for the remaining days alone include a resolve to stay at home, reflect on the Word of God, meditate upon the Lord and enjoy the opportunity to bask in rest and relaxation.  I am now off to indulge in a cup of hot cocoa before retiring for the evening.

Blessings and, again, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Home Alone - Day 3

Well, here I sit with my cup of hot cocoa at the close of another day at home alone.  Won't you pour yourself a cup of hot tea, cocoa or whatever you enjoy most and join me?

Today was full of surprising gifts.  We received a box of gifts from my dear BFF sister in Texas.  She has the most incredible knack for sending the most thoughtful gifts.  The obvious time and effort she puts forth means so much to me.  I am touched that someone could and/or would love me so much as to be so thoughtful.

 I also had an unexpected visit from our neighbors.  I was not expecting to see them drive up this afternoon.  Yes, my next door neighbors DROVE to our house.  As ridiculous as that may sound to most, you all must remember that my next door neighbor is 1 1/2 miles away.  Since our temperature was 1 degree Fahrenheit @ 2:30 this afternoon, I think a drive in a warm vehicle was practical.  Mr. W and his two beautiful children blessed us with a Christmas gift AND some bison!  I decided to wait until my family returns home to open the gift and I am confident Mr.B will be very grateful for the bison.  EJ & OG will be disappointed they missed a visit from their friends.

This evening I attended my 1st ever candlelight Christmas service.  In all the years I've been a Christian, family obligations have kept me from attending a candlelight service.  The singing was angelic.  The message was delivered with compassion and love.  BUT, my favorite portion of the evening was the closing when the candles were lit. As I stood in the dark watching each person light his/her candle the symbolism of the witness of Jesus Christ was so poignant.  We all stand in the darkness of sin separated from God.  Because of the gift of Jesus Christ we each have the opportunity to be reconciled with God.  But how do we receive that gift?   The Christian stands in the light of God and his/her world is illuminated (a person stands with a lighted candle).  The Christian tells us of the gift of Jesus Christ, we then must choose to accept the gift (light our candle) or reject it.  When we accept the gift we then witness to another person and he/she has the opportunity to accept (light his/her candle) or reject.  As the message is spread and accepted one person at a time is pulled out of the darkness of sin and into the light of God.  As we went around the church lighting candles, I noticed that one man's lit candle was extinguished.  To me this represented a fall from our Christian walk.  However, when his candle went out, his neighbor turned to him and offered to help him re-light his candle. He accepted the offer and was once again illuminated with light.  When we fail and succumb to sin's temptations, we have the opportunity to repent and be reconciled, once again, to God.  Oh! how I wish I were eloquent enough in my writing to effectively convey the message of how the lighting of the candles ministered to my heart.  What a beautiful gift the Lord gave me this Christmas!

I pray you and your loved ones experience something special and moving in your hearts this Christmas.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home Alone - Day 2

This morning was a cold one!  When I left for church the temp was only 5 degrees & it was snowing.  I think our high temperature today was only around 9 degrees.

So, what did I do today?

Morning chores & got ready for church un-rushed and void of the usual Sunday morning chaos.
Arrived on time for a lovely Christmas service at church.
Read all the wonderful Christmas cards our church family blessed us with today.
Took cardboard boxes to the recycling center in our neighboring town.
Picked up Chinese take-out from the new Chinese Restaurant in our neighboring town.
Talked with Mr. B and the littles via telephone. They are having a terrific time!
Scrubbed puppy urine off the basement floor (fortunately its unfinished concrete).
Received a scrumptious gift basket from Mr.B's family that included a touching card wishing I were there this year.
Bundled up then shoveled and swept snow from the walkway & deck.
Enjoyed a cup of hot cranberry apple tea & a chocolate covered graham cracker (from above mentioned gift basket) while blogging.  So glad to be back blogging, I've missed it.
Enjoyed a second evening of candle light - this time I added candle light to the kitchen and master on-suite.
Finished a quiet and relaxing day by watching Masterpiece Classic's "Downton Abby" in my pj's cuddled up in a blanket on the sofa.  No one interrupted me while watching the program, how refreshing!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Home Alone - Day 1

That's right!  I'm home alone.  My family has gone south for the Christmas holiday & left me to tend the farm.       So, what shall I do all by myself for 10 -14 days?  I have no idea - I've never been home alone.  I have been a mom for 28 1/2 years and have never been home alone for more than a few hours.  So, I suppose I'll blog about the experience & you can either pity or envy me.  Shh, I'm secretly, hoping you will turn green with envy.
The B family left at 5:30 AM this morning.  Aside from the given of feeding and tending the animals, my day was filled with the following:

Tidied up the basement.
Tidied up the children's bedrooms.
13 loads of laundry - 6 loads was bedding.
Deep cleaning and rearranging the mudroom.
Enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa while watching an old Harrison Ford movie, "Presumed Innocent"
Enjoyed lighted candles in the mudroom and living room. (EJ is so rambunctious I dare not light candles when he's home.)
Talked with my BFF, Mrs.A, on the telephone.

Tune in tomorrow to see what Day 2 brings ...

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm Such A Tease!

To my faithful readers, I must apologize.  I thought I was returning from my blogging break over a month ago.  I even posted a couple entries.  However, life stepped in and has prevented me from being able to return as I had desired.  I hope to return soon.

Praying Heavenly Father's abundant blessings upon you and yours during this Christmas season as you rejoice and celebrate the birth of our Savior.