Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sharpening the saw

Isn't she divine???? I found the pattern free on the "Lion Yarn" website and fell in love with her! Crochet is now in my "must learn to do" pile!! I figure I will get some free time to do that in about - ohhhhh - 18 years!!

Seriously though, sitting in my craft room actually accomplishing something that I can SEE has done wonders for my state of mind. So much of what I am working toward is unseen and there are days if I wonder if I am getting anywhere. I have found making something with my hands is good therapy and worth MAKING time for.

It is part of the whole "sharpening the saw" theory that Stephen Covey talks about in the "7 habits" books. In a nutshell, if you stop regularly to sharpen your saw, you will cut down the tree in half the time it would take you frantically working non-stop. If you take the time to take care of yourself you will work more efficiently.

For me, some of what sharpens my saw is Bible reading, taking a bit of time for a good book, a hot bath alone after the kids are in bed, gardening, making something with my hands, singing (for my pleasure or the children alone, my voice is such that the angels may rejoice at the sounds of praises, but I am sure they are looking forward to giving me a tune up in heaven!), kneading dough, taking a walk, spending time on the computer and prayer, lots of prayer! All of these things, except for the bath, can actually be done with one or more of the children around me.

Susanna Wesley would pray in her kitchen amongst her family (she had 19 children, 9 of whom survived to adulthood) with her apron thrown up over her head to indicate to the children "Do Not Disturb!". Women through the generations took the regular household chores of sewing, quilting, crochet, knitting and cooking and turned them into an art while still providing the family with warmth and care. I am perfecting the art of "me time" in a crowded room and blooming where I am planted. I am a lover of solitude and do enjoy (and crave!) alone time, but I do not restrict enjoying myself and refueling to those rare moments!

Top Tips for Refueling through the day:

* Make a list of what soothes your soul (knitting? Jazzercise??? wearing funny hats???) and try and work one into your day or week (pick one out of a hat? have a rotating list?)

* make Grace at meal times a REAL prayer time, not just a muttered habit. Consult a family prayer list and make the prayers mean something.

* when teaching the children scripture or reading it to them, listen to it and let it work on your heart.

* Stash Bibles and good books and uplifting magazines around the house. Read a bit on the loo, in the laundry, in the kitchen etc.

* have a craft bag of some sort that you can put beside your chair in the lounge room or take with you outside. I've always done this with my knitting and I have never had a child injure themselves or damage a project.

* create a "refuel" basket with your Bible and Bible study materials or something else that nurtures your heart, mind or body so you can quickly grab it to use outside as you watch the kids play on the grass.

* Laugh a lot!

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