Stress Less


Today’s Works for me Wednesday and Rocks in My Dryer is supposed to be about Christmas. I have been thinking about Christmas anyway and decided to play along on the Christmas theme.

I have been busy, as I am sure most of you have, trying to get everything done and ready. I am doing something different this year though, I am not getting all upset and stressed over the day.

Most years I am so stressed as I try to make this, do that, get the stuff for a big meal and try to have it all together. This is the first year in a long time that I can remember not being all stressed about getting things done and perfect.

I still have some gifts to get together and some things to make, but not anything that has me stressed. It will take some time, but I believe it is all under control. If not, I am not stressing anyway!

It has taken many years, but I finally realized the meal will be there, people will eat and everything does not have to be perfect, nor does there need to be 25 different foods on the table. Keep it simple! I am having a big meal, but I am keeping it simple. I also have others bringing some of the meal too.

My gifts will be done, the food will be fairly easy and it should work our for a nice relaxing time.

Are you getting all stressed and ready to bite every one’s head off? STOP!!! Relax. It will work out, it does not need to be anything but simple, but simple can be elegant and easy! Enjoy the day, enjoy the family and make it all less stressful.

What is a godly grandmother?

I have been asked this question, along with a number of others as people read my blog. I want to answer what I can and will do my best to hunt down what I do not know. Soon I am planning to have an e-zine out once or twice a month to begin and will have questions and answers on it as well as more than I put in my blog. I am having trouble getting the sign up on the blog itself without sending you to another page to sign up, if anyone knows how to put a phplist sign up on several blogs with it hosted on a website let me know!

Now,

“What is a godly grandmother? For example: my own mom got a college degree after her kids were grown and is now a teacher at a Christian school. She rarely has time for us. On the other hand my aunt practically raises her grand kids, drives them to school, cleans her daughter’s house while her daughter is at work, and takes all the kids to their various activities. She even takes them a lot on weekends too. What is the biblical model of a Grandma? Should my mom be staying at home (the best place for a woman, in my opinion, wherever possible) and try to help more in mentoring me and being a godly influence to her grandchildren? Or is it right that I do it on my own with no help? I realize my aunt’s method is unhealthy and don’t want that either!”

Today’s world has made life a dilemma. The world says go get what you can and be all you can be (in the world) and has become very self centered. When we look back on the way things were, women stayed home, took care of family, each generation training the next one down. Men did the same with the boys, turning them into men. Now, families are split, boys have no father roll models and girls have a mom that is away and letting someone else watch them. However, what about when a woman has raised her children, is her roll done? Can she now do whatever she wants because the children are not there and she is free? What does the Bible say?

Again I go to Titus 3:5:

“Let the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored”

What does the Bible say about a grandmother? I find one reference and that is in 2 Timothy 1:5

“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”

Here Paul is talking about Timothy’s grandmother and the her faith being taught to Timothy. Apparently she was a real woman of God who had a lot of contact with her grandson and taught him the ways of God.

A Biblical woman follows what God has set for her. Scripture clearly says the older is to teach the younger, go back and read Titus 3:5 again. How do the younger learn? How does anyone learn? We learn by seeing it in practice as well as being told.

I take my position of wife and mother to be the highest calling I, as a woman, can have. I believe each has a commitment, responsibility and debt to the next generation. We have failed greatly in this over the last few generations. People have become more independent, more self-centered and as a result there is the mess there is today with families.

Now, back to the full question asked me. I am glad you see that what your aunt is doing is wrong. It is not teaching, it is doing and controlling. It is letting a mom get out of her responsibilities to her family. What your mom is doing I will not say is wrong, but there needs to be a balance. There should be teaching and helping.

All this said, I know there are times when a mom has to work, death, divorce and such leave a family needing the mom out there. This should be when the family steps in and cares for the children so they do not need to go to day care. If this is possible.

I do not live near most of my kids, but when I was there I kept them and tried to teach and help. Now, I babysit a precious granddaughter for her mom and we work together for her good. I have a good relationship with my step daughter and she looks to me for help and teaching, both of her and her baby.

The world has come into the family and is dividing it up, confusing the roles of parents and grandparents , making God’s ways appear old fashioned or out dated. His ways are not, and I would love to see us move back to what He says.

If we read Proverbs 31 and see what a godly woman is (mother, grandmother, single) we see she works from home, puts family first and is someone that can be looked up to. Moms and grand moms we need to become what God has set out for us. For our children and grandchildren to be whole this is needed.

Child Proof The Christmas Tree

When my kids were really young I found the Christmas tree to be a challenge. All those ornaments were tempting to the kids and costly as well.

When we put something out as prominent as a Christmas tree only to have to get stressed out because the kids will not leave it alone is not good for the family. To have them frustrated as well because they want to touch it and you are yelling at them only takes away from the family and the fun.

Maybe your children are angels and not interested in the tree, but mine were not. I found a cheap and easy way to not have to worry about them breaking the ornaments or hurting themselves.

Make or buy cookies and let the kids decorate them if they are old enough. Sugar cookies work well, but I also used spritz cookies that are pressed out of a cookie press.

I then took the cookies and put them back to back and wrapped in a little plastic wrap and tied on the tree with a ribbon. I added candy canes to the tree and then some ribbon bows. I had some wooden ornaments that I painted from a kit as well.

Should the kids get something off the tree, it is only a cookie or candy cane and nothing that will break and hurt them. I found my kids actually let the tree alone, it was the cat I had the problem with!

For more frugal ideas, check out Biblical Womanhood.

Christmas Shopping

I have a large family and at this time of year that makes things difficult. I am the oldest of eight, my husband is one of three living. Together we have eight kids and 17 grand kids. (Like I have said before, and want you to remember now, I am not that old.. really!)

Christmas is a hard time trying to handle it all financially as well as shipping, buying and wrapping. My siblings and I do not exchange gifts, so this saves some. It is not that we do not love each other, but we realize we just can’t put ourselves in debt to buy all these gifts. Personally I liked it when I had the time to make everyone something. I love to give.

This year I was struggling with the whole Christmas thing. There is the giver inside me that just wants to give and give, but when I open the pocket book I can see the lining so know that the funds are not there to match my heart.

I pray, and then go shop. God can bring some magnificent deals and place you in the right place. We do not spend much, so I like to get the best for what I have. Look online, there are bargains galore. I hate junk mail, but when I visit a site like buy.com or other reputable site, I sign up for their notices and newsletters. I can always delete them, but sometimes there is just the thing for just the price.

Lest you think I have finished, I have not. I just finished wrapping all the presents that need to get mailed to other states, but the kids and grand kids here? I have no idea!!

How do you shop if you have a big family and small pocket book? What works for you?