About Me

My photo
Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Fun!

Another part of my Lent journey is focusing on something I've tried before but forget in the busyness of life. It goes completely against my Type A overbooked constantly moving nature. I want to be present in the moment, especially with my children. My mind likes to jump to the next task at hand, especially when I am doing something "mundane" like playing with toy trains. I don't want to look back on my children's childhoods and find that I spent so much time doing and thinking about "stuff" that I missed the joy of childhood. So although I have been consumed during the week with getting things together for the consignment sale, I have purposed to do fun things on the weekends without trying to get anything else accomplished!

Last weekend my good friend Rebecca Ann helped me run my errands and meet my parents and nephew for dinner. I couldn't make it without her! We shopped at an old fashioned hardware store in Matthews where I bought some heirloom tomatoes while the kids played with chickens, stared transfixed at fishing crickets, and chased each other around giant bags of manure. If my non-green thumbs can somehow grow these tomatoes and save the seeds we can grow tomatoes from them forever and not have to worry about GMOs, BPA, and who knows what other initials.

This weekend Daddy came home early because of the rain and we played Balloon Lagoon as a family. Elijah did a great job playing but couldn't handle the entire game of Feed the Kitty that followed.  Instead he decided to play "torture the boxer". Once the camera started rolling he went easier on poor Ezekiel. Today we threw on our coats and headed to the park to ride bikes and enjoy having the cold playground all to ourselves.

You can see more February pics by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday I searched for something like I used during Advent that would relate the celebration of Lent with my preschoolers. Not having found anything I decided to wing it. I spent the day continuing to examine my actions and thoughts to discern whether or not they were rooted in love. Many of them weren't, but as the day progressed I noticed some of my natural tendencies being supplanted by a supernatural calm and peace.

Since my church doesn't have an Ash Wednesday service we celebrated the holiday by the compost pile for the sake of fire safety. Knowing that my children wouldn't be able to hang for the entirety of Psalm 51, I chose two key verses: 9Hide your face from my sins, and wipe out all that I have done wrong. 10Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me (GW). We talked about the biblical significance of ashes representing mourning or sorrow for sins and how God completely forgives our sins when we ask as well as giving us clean hearts to not sin again. We chose a sin to write on the paper and put it into the compost pile to burn it.

Our lighters never work well, and I was struggling. A young man walked by, an odd occurrence on our busy sidewalk free street. He heard the clicking of my lighter and asked if we would like to borrow his. He came over and asked if we were making compost. His name was Jordan, and we shared with him what we were doing (aside from making compost). He must have at least some knowledge of God because when we thanked him he responded, "anything for the good Lord." It was deeply meaningful to watch our sins symbolically turn to ash, although I suspect the kids were more in awe that we were actually playing with fire. We'll see if anything comes of meeting Jordan, but I thank God that he gives us beauty for ashes as we grow into trees of righteousness (Is. 61:3).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Truly Celebrating Lent

The kids decorated our cake with
waaaay to much sugar!

During my first Lenten season as a married woman, I made the mistake of cooking meat on a Friday night. My Episcopalian bred husband was mortified and ate a PB&J. (Give me a break - I grew up Southern Baptist. We take Paul's "kill & eat" sheet vision very literally.) It's funny how differently people can celebrate the same holidays and holy days. After seeing Fat Tuesday recipes on the Today show and forgetting that it was "Shrove Tuesday" - the one night the hubs would love pancakes for dinner - the kids and I cooked skillet Jambalaya and made a homemade Kings' cake. The purported purpose of the Kings' cake is to remind people of the Magi's trip to find Jesus as a child, but today most people just look for the baby in the cake for good luck or to see who picks up the tab. (We mostly made it because it looked yummy.)

Likewise many religious traditions can lose their meaning. People can "give things up" for Lent as a cultural habit more than a reminder to pray and come closer to Christ. Since my denomination has no "Lenten requirements" I have some freedom to think about how I desire to spend the season. So many of us overlook it or rush through it, even those of us who follow some prescribed ritual.

Currently I am in a Bible Study on Ephesians in which we look at only a verse or two a day. It runs contrary to my normal study of the Bible in which I devour large sections and look at the "Big Picture." Stopping after a verse or two sometimes feels awkward. But concentrating on one or two verses a day allows you to really stew on the verses if you allow your mind the time throughout the day. Today's verses were Eph. 3:17-18, part of Paul's prayer for the Ephesians.

The end of verse 18 is "that you, being rooted and grounded in love." Throughout the day I have contemplated whether or not my actions and words were rooted and grounded in love. Many of them weren't. So instead of giving up chocolate for Lent I am going to spend the season examining my thoughts and actions to see if they grow from love, watering the roots in my heart through communing with the Father, and fertilizing my faith through the reading of the Word. Join me on my journey!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My halftime show is better than yours

The high school party was fun, the food was great, and the devotional was inspiring... but I have to say I loved watching the 4th quarter in bed with my kids the best!

The video is grainy, but my halftime show was better than yours. Eat your heart out Madonna!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Karen, this one's for you

Caitlyn's speech Monday should have been a 2-3 minute speech on a famous scientist. I had an awesome children's book on Louis Pasteur all ready to go over with her! But I left it at home when we went to my parents' house. Instead of pulling an all-nighter with a 5 year old when we got home at 10 pm Sunday I told her she could just do her speech on anything she wanted to talk about. She chose the very scientific subject of my sister's new puppy, Jax. Here you go sis!

Elijah's opinion of the puppy:

Shalom Seekers