Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Computer-induced ADD

Time is another one of my obsessions. I waste more time pondering what in the world I’ve done with it. Dh says I just think too much in general. But honestly, have you taken time to analyze where it goes?

In the old days of intense mothering (where some of you currently and seemingly forever reside), one day morphed into the next as I endured those 24/7 shifts seven days a week with no clue such a thing as “free time” even existed. Back then it was a good thing to be overseas where real life was busy, and we had no such thing as telephone and junk mail, not to mention sports or other extra-curricular activities for the kids. I could focus on the little priorities I was raising.

Nowadays I find I have developed a case of adult-onset ADD. I tend to flit from one time waster to another. Having Internet has contributed to the problem. I can “quickly” check in on Facebook, mostly looking for news from my children, and find myself fully sucked in an hour later, praying for this, “liking” that, and wishing a dozen friends a happy birthday.

Then there is Pinterest. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, don’t go near it unless you are highly disciplined, and can stay there only for 10 minutes of inspiration and relaxation. For me, I find way too many recipes and craft ideas that I know full well I will never try, but I file them away for a hypothetical day in the future when I might.

Being the frugal missionary, I was delighted with a link on Pinterest for painting upholstered furniture. That would be so much simpler than shopping for fabric, finding someone to do the work, hauling the furniture to the city, etc. Right? I wasted the next hour reading blog after blog about how to do this “simple” job. Then I discovered that the main ingredient I needed was something I would never be able to find in Mexico. Another good idea that will come to nothing.

One final time eater is my Kindle. I hesitate to say anything, because I honestly LOVE my Kindle. I have several versions of the Bible on it, plus several devotional books I am using for 2012. The trouble is that I fritter my time away hunting for online bargains and freebies to read. For a while I was downloading so many free books, it was a full-time job just to organize them all.

The biggest blessing I discovered this past week is that I can borrow books for free with Amazon Prime. Now that’s cool. I am only allowed one book at a time. That forces me to focus and actually finish one book before I download the next one.

Having Amazon Prime is worth it for me, since I tend to procrastinate on ordering things (another symptom of my ADD-ishness) until I am forced to pay for second day shipping or risk wasting further time writing emails to track down packages that inevitably arrive too late.

Somehow I picture the rest of you happily occupied with real people and projects, well organized and self-disciplined, ministering to others full-time. For your sake, I hope you are not in a computer-induced attention deficit mode. If you are, may 2012 be a year we both find balance between worthwhile and wasted time.

IRL* Striving to regain control over my time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Long and Barfy Road

Don’t you just hate when someone else’s selfishness gets in the way of your own? I get so annoyed when others get to act on their fleshly impulses while I have to overcome mine. A godly saint would praise God for the opportunity to grow in godliness and to serve selflessly, but I just groan. It is downright painful to give when I prefer to receive ministry.
There. I said it.
What triggered this was a trip to the beach over the weekend. Sounds like fun, right? Well, I was the unwilling participant. After we just returned from Guatemala, my ds and ddil arrived from Canada with visions of a long weekend at the beach with us as a family. It is always fun at the beach – if only it weren’t such a long and barfy road to get there and back.
The beach is only “this” far on the map, but with all the mountains and curves, it takes a full seven hours unless you fly. It’s one thing to suffer “for the gospel” when going out to a village to do something worthwhile, but somehow I can’t make myself do it as willingly for something that should be enjoyable. Being in a vehicle with seven sunburned family members being pushed into each other for seven hours…Face it - it’s character building.
Arriving home after such a nauseating drive, there is the car to be unloaded, fishy smelling laundry to be washed and hung out on the clothesline, supper to be fixed, and of course the mandatory trip to the tienda for milk, eggs, and bread. That’s the moment when I want to collapse. Everything in me wants to give up, but I am not allowed. (Others did.)
That night I was the last one to bed, and the next morning I was almost the first one up. (Dh was the first responder to the alarm clock.) After getting ds off to school (speaking of sacrifices – poor kid!), I spent some nice quality time alone with the Lord and got my heart straightened out. It’s all good.
Again I have love, grace, and joy to conquer the challenges of having three grown kids home when it’s technically not the holidays any more, and home schooling and other responsibilities face me. My question for you: how do you continue with life while you have houseguests? Any tips? Suggestions?
IRL* "For the gospel"'s an all-inclusive deal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On the Streets Where I Lived

Is it really almost mid-January already? I know that time speeds up as we get older, but this year in particular seems to be racing in ridiculously fast motion.

Since New Year’s we have put 1300 miles on our old Suburban, driving to Guatemala and back with our three teens plus one college daughter. This epic road trip brought back many memories of insane border trips we used to make back before we had more permanent visas. This particular trip included an excursion or two down memory lane, as we took our youngest four children to the places where we used to live with the oldest three boys many years ago.

So much has changed over the years. Our old village is now incredibly modern. The roads are paved, people still dress in native garb but can be seen talking and texting on cell phones, and our old little house has been transformed into a 2-story modern house. Now the kids will never believe our wacky tales of life without indoor plumbing and having to hand-wash cloth diapers out in the yard.

Visiting our old language tutors, coworkers, and native missionaries, we were further astonished at how much things have improved for them over the years. The whole trip was a blessing.
Now it is time for back-to-school, back to healthier eating, back to exercise, and back to writing again. After visiting some friends in Chiapas on our way back to Oaxaca, I am adopting some new health gimmicks habits. In case you haven’t figured this out, I am forever on a quest for better nutrition.

Some of the things I have bought into in the past that I still dabble in (look them up on the web for your amusement/education):
  • Neti pot - check out some hilarious videos on YouTube making fun of this natural remedy for sinus congestion.
  • Kombucha tea -which my kids call “Happy Tea” due to its teensy (less than 1%) alcohol content . One of my longest lasting fads, almost daily fermenting behind the coffee pot; according to the Internet it will cure whatever ails you.
  • Sea Salt instead of iodized table salt (okay, so what if it’s pink?).
  • Alpiste - canary seed “milk” – supposedly good for high blood pressure.
  • Nopal cactus – balances blood sugar levels, etc. Again the kids tease me about this which I am known to throw in my green smoothies along with spinach and fresh fruits.
  • Coconut oil which you read about in 2010 when I used it in place of commercial skin care products, resulting in a sun tan.
  • Oil pulling - another cheap way to detox the old body and supposedly whiten and clean teeth) – my latest craze.
Last week I brought back a 5-gallon drum of pure coconut oil, thanks to my health guru friends in Chiapas. I can’t wait to see what all I can do now that I don’t have to carefully ration my supply! I also bought a large supply of Himalayan salt.

How about you? Anything new you are dabbling in this New Year? Any new habits you want to develop? How about exercise? Found anything that works for you? What about daily devotions? I now have several free books on my Kindle, but I need to commit to one for 2012.

IRL* It may go fast, but I have a feeling this is going to be another wonderful year.


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