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Why I’m (Still) a SAHD (Part Three: A Week in the Life)

Why I'm Still a SAHD (Part Three)

My plan has always been to conclude with a post addressing the challenges of staying home as an adult, but the more I thought about, the more I felt that I had addressed the main points in the previous posts. It can be a challenge, but with good communication and grace, the balance of home life and independence can be found.

A writer from the mastermind group I lead suggested I conclude with a “week in my life” post to share how much time I spend at home and how much time I spend on my own endeavors. This season is definitely my most independent yet, so I thought it was an appropriate suggestion. Just a reminder for those who may be new to the blog, I’m twenty-two, single and not in school. Without further adieu, I give you A Week in the Life:

Sunday:

Sundays are my “sleeping in” day because I don’t get up until 8:15! I have an hour before we leave for church, so I eat breakfast and drink a small cup of coffee while I get dressed and ready. We are in a funny and delightful season in which everyone who goes to church in the morning fits in one car! Our SUV fits eight, and eight of us pile in every Sunday morning! (My sister and her husband go to a different church which meets in the afternoon!)

After church and Sunday school, we meet back up and head home for lunch. We spend the rest of the day together at home, except for when it’s time for the youth events in the evening, in which one of my parents or I gives our three “youth” rides to-and-from their various activities. We sometimes cook on these days, but a lot of times we eat leftovers. Naps are in order on Sunday afternoon and, in the evening, Downton Abbey!

Monday:

On Mondays, my alarm goes off at 6:45 so I can get ready for work. First things first: I head downstairs and make a pot of coffee! I get ready of my day, pour some coffee in my thermos and tell my family goodbye. I spend 8:00-12:00 in a general contractor’s office as the front desk receptionist. I really enjoy my job, but it’s pretty slow so I often get to write or read while I’m at work. I also use this time to update my mastermind group and do my BSF homework every day. This is a huge plus to working in a quiet office!

At noon, I head back home for a quick lunch with my family. At 1:15 I leave for my second job! Er…my first job, that is! 1:30-4:30 I babysit for a family who lives on our side of town. I have been babysitting for them for four years, so it was important to me to keep this job when I took the receptionist position! The family was sweet enough to change my schedule to accommodate my second job. I play with a three-year-old and a four-year-old on Monday afternoons and love it!

After that, I often go through the drive-through at the bank to deposit last week’s check, or make a grocery run for dinner. We have a “quick” dinner together before we all head to BSF at 6:55. By the time we get home from BSF, the line for the shower forms and we go to bed!

*Mondays have always been Cleaning Day for my family, so while I’m away, they are all doing housework and yard work. They have all been sweet enough to pick up my slack, for the most part, since I got this job in October. I try to keep our upstairs bathroom clean throughout the rest of the week. For curious readers, my mom does almost all of our laundry on this day (including sheets and bathmats) and it takes her all day!

Tuesday:

Same song, different verse! My alarm goes off at 6:45, my coffee and I are in the office 8:00-12:00 and then I’m home for lunch. After lunch, I try to do thirty minutes of exercise, focusing on strength training. Lots of times we cook dinner on Tuesdays and watch a movie in the evening. My mom and the four youngest kids are getting ready for Classical Conversations on Tuesday nights, so presentations are being prepared and lunches packed.

Wednesday:

Office: 8:00-12:00

Most of my family is at Classical Conversations most of the day on Wednesdays. When my mom gets home, we have all had lunch and we have afternoon coffee together. There are often cookies involved…

After this, I try to spend about an hour on some sort of artwork. This can be hard to prioritize, but so important for me personally! Again, we usually have dinner as a family.

Thursday:

Office 8:00-12:00

Thursdays are my “free” afternoon. Sit on the deck in the sun, play cards with my little brothers, run an errand or two…

Friday:

Office 8:00-12:00

I try to do about thirty minutes of cardio after lunch on Fridays. Power walking (I don’t run!) is my favorite, though biking on my cruiser and dancing in my bedroom are also great! Impressive, right?

Saturday:

On Saturdays, I lead a service team at our church! We usually meet at 8:00 in the morning at the church, which is about twenty-five minutes from Eyrie Park. I have a partner, so my responsibilities change a little each week, but every-other week I pick up breakfast on my way and also prepare a short devotional to start the team off with…hopefully before I’m on the way! I usually get up at 7:00 on Saturdays, because it doesn’t take long to put my hair in a ponytail and throw on some old clothes!

We usually get to our job around 9:00 and work until around noon. Our jobs include anything from yard work to house work to helping someone move. We are usually serving the elderly of our (large) church family. More often than not we’re serving a widow. I love the hands-on work, but my favorite part of the day is visiting with the people who we’re able to help and praying with them. Around noon, we head back to the church to regroup and then head home.

During Lent, and Advent, we do a devotional as a family every evening, Monday-Saturday. We light candles, sing, pray, read aloud and discuss. This often lasts for a couple of hours, since we don’t have any truly little kids anymore and everyone is expected to participate.

My almost-twenty-year-old sister and I share a group of friends, for the most part, and we usually have 1-2 “social outings” with them throughout the week. Maybe it’s a “girls’ night” for movies and dessert or afternoon coffee with just one or two other girls, or going to a play or other event together. My parents let us borrow a car for these things, which is awesome! I got a late start as far as driving goes, but now I’ve been driving for almost five years and I’m comfortable navigating our city, but I don’t have my own car. Borrowing a car is a huge luxury for the technically car-less.

Last week, we met our friend Briana at the grocery store to pick out ice cream together and then head back to Eyrie Park. We ate ice cream, played Dutch Blitz and then she stayed for dinner! A couple of days later, we met another friend in Downton to go antique shopping. These times are really fun and special.

Sunday afternoon found me playing Guess Who with Dorothy and reading her a Disney Princess collection (in it’s entirety!) before my leader meeting at our college pastor’s house. Every week is a little different, but there’s always a lot of in-and-out, eating, borrowing and switching cars and time together. All-in-all, I think my life is pretty great!

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what the transfiguration taught me about blogging

smart phone photo

One day, Jesus and I walked to the top of the mountain and Jesus was transfigured, showing me all of His glory. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and they started chatting it up like old times. And I said, “Jesus, it is a good thing I’m here, because I have an iphone and this totally needs to be on Instagram!”

Besides the fact that it was actually Peter and not me, this story is pretty much a retelling of the true transfiguration story in Matthew 17. The actual scripture sounds just as ridiculous.

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

It may sound like a stretch, but this is what the transfiguration taught me about blogging. Peter has just seen Jesus Christ transfigured and Moses and Elijah, both long-dead, standing and speaking, and yet it isn’t until God Himself speaks from a cloud in heaven that Peter falls on his face. First, as my Bible says in the notes, he desires to set up an appropriate memorial for this moment.

I love that it says that God interrupted him. Memorials are all fine and dandy, but Peter was, as is the often the case with myself, missing the point. God commands Peter and the other present apostles to listen to His son. They fall on their faces and, when they look up, see nothing but Jesus. This is exactly as it should be. We hear from God and fall down and worship, seeing only Him. And yet, I think we have a tendency to go with Peter’s first inclination.

Something amazing happens: a mountain top moment. I hear from God! I witness a miracle, receive a message, see a vision. The next thing I want to do is blog about it, tweet about it, instagram it. I want to share with the world immediately! What great blog fodder that was, God! Now I’ll help you out by spreading that message to the world via social media! It’s a good thing I was there, because this needs to be documented!

Here God, let me tag you in this picture so all the world may glorify you! Let me hashtag #thewondersofyourname that we might worship you! Let me get the SEO just right on this post so we might share your good news! And then God knocks me on my face and says, “This is my son we’re talking about. Listen to him.”

And I lie there panting in the dust for a moment before Jesus touches me and says, “Rise and have no fear.” And for a beautiful moment, I’m actually focused on Him.

Not focused on being a Christian, but on being in the presence of Christ. 

It is so much easier to talk about God and tweet about God and use God as a marketing tool than to actually see Him. It is so much easier to “live the Christian life” than to fall down in his presence and listen to him.

As they walked down the mountain that day, Jesus and James and John and that guy Peter with whom I often relate, Jesus tells them not to tell this story until later.  It was not the time or the place to whip out the smart phones. It was not their story to tell. He would be glorified later, He assured them. And after seeing him “transfigured before them,” his face shining like the sun and his clothes white as light, you’d think they’d trust him on that one. You’d think I would too.

We serve an unseen God who listens to the prayers of unseen people in unseen places and works unseen miracles. Everything that happens on this earth is preparing us for an “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Just wait for that weight of glory, beyond all comparison. I don’t think social media will even cross our minds when that day comes.

P.S. I understand the irony of this blog post about something God taught me. That’s really not the point either. We are told to share the things God teaches us, but more importantly, we should worship God. He put this on my heart many months ago, perhaps this was the right time to share? 

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an invitation home

“Home is where I can be myself. Where my outside and my inside are both recognized and matched. Where I am looked at and seen. Where I am understood or at least aimed for. Home is where my jokes are funny and my outbursts are forgiven. Where my silence is let be and my chatter is accepted. Where my work is appreciated, my laziness is treated with patience, my silliness is welcomed and my solitude is scarce. Home is where I am part of something greater than myself and yet home is where I am greatest. Home is sharing the burden and feeling it not. Home is where I am just a gear in the whirring machine, yet valued and content. Home is belonging.”

-Written (by me) for Letters from HomeLent 2012
If home is belonging, we shall want it.
Who does not want to belong? I complain that women have lost their place. I do not mean the kitchen rug. I mean we have lost our belonging. We take the place of man whenever we are able (and we are strong, often able) but mostly we just give our place away. Am I woman? Who says?
We have lost our place, but society tells us that we never should have had a place in the first. We, none of us, should have a “place.” We should wander wherever we choose.
“Don’t bind me!” We cry. “Don’t leave me here alone!”
Yet we have bound ourselves. Bound our selves to taking other places and vowing to forget our old nest. In the nest, we forget, we were not bound. And we were not alone.
Home is not a prison cell. Home, in essence, is a place that welcomes us. It is a place, yes, but one with a candle in the window beckoning us, if we so wish, to come inside. We are not led home on the arms of officers. The doors do not lock from the outside. We are not a bird in a cage, but a bird in her nest.
By definition, home is where we feel a sense of belonging. Welcome. Peace. Our own needs met.
Why would we leave some place called “home”? Why, when we venture out, would we never return again? Why would we say that walking the fields is more satisfying than coming back to our den and curling up with the ones, the things, the feelings that we love?
Websters dictionary describes “at home” as meaning:
1.    relaxed and comfortable: at ease
2.   in harmony with the surroundings
3.   on familiar ground
Therefore, if you are not at home, you are not relaxed. Wandering can be wonderful. Travel is fun. But home is relaxing. If you are not at home, you are not at ease. You are not in harmony with your surroundings. You are not on familiar ground. Wouldn’t you rather be where you recognize and are recognized in return?
Then get yourself home!
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good times: photos

Dear You,
My last post was a little drab. No apologies here, just telling it like it is. Sometimes life is drab. But sometimes it can be positively blissful. Let’s focus on those times tonight, shall we?

The darling Eliza Love is a great friend of ours. Ten months ago she moved eight hours away.
It was sad. We cried. But she was kind enough to spend her Spring Break with us!

For a moment, all was right in the world…
Stepping out.



Eliza and I. And rootbeer. I repeat: ROOTbeer.
Good times outside with Mr. Lizardio

I’m never going to get over that nose.

Or those lashes. 

Can you guess who’s hiding in the hammock?

Yup. We’re pretty obsessive about photographing this chick.

She’s quite thoughtful when it comes to birthdays.
Springtime yard work! Now that we’ve actually gotten rain, we have to mow again!
Isn’t Sam just the cutest?
Feelin’ manly.


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rocking chair

When the words came strung together and I proudly tweeted, I didn’t know that it had been said before. 



It hadn’t been said just like that, of course, but in a more positive way. I was struck anew when my dear G. K. was quoted thus:



If thanks is the highest form of thought (according to a famous scholar) and worry the lowest form (according to…me) then can it safely be said that thanks and worry are opposites or at least enemies?


If I’m worrying, what am I saying about God? That I’m displeased with my portion. I don’t like what he’s served for dinner. This isn’t what I would’ve chosen and I don’t have faith that it will work out. 


When I am thankful, what am I saying about God? That what He’s provided is plenty. That I am satisfied with what He’s offered. That I trust in Him, trust that He knows what He’s doing.


They say that worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.


Take a good look at the picture above. What do you think I’ve been up to?


Actually, it wasn’t I who broke the rocking chair. I have a very hyper little sister who did the dirty deed, but it could have just as easily been me. It probably should’ve been me. 


Worry. It’s something I struggle with…every day. But it’s not a pesky character trait or a bad habit. It’s not “just the way I am.” 


It’s the lowest form of thought. 
It prevents me from attaining the highest form of thought.
And, in plain English, it’s a sin.


I’ve known it was a sin for so long. I like to wag my finger at the mirror after long bouts of worry and say, “Everly, tsk tsk! You shouldn’t be doing such things!” and then move along.


I like to say, “I know I shouldn’t be worried, but…”


Honestly, I like to worry. I like to lay awake in bed, growing old in my youth, feeling productive. In the morning, I say that I prayed. In the moment, I’m listening to lies.


But worry is like a rocking chair. I like to sit in the rocking chair and go back and forth, back and forth. I am addicted to this form of torture, thinking that one of these times, leaning forward or tilting back, I’m going to arrive somewhere. But it’s just a game the devil plays with me. 


We’re almost a week into Lent and already, it’s glaring at me. Worry can’t be a guilty pleasure any longer. I can’t let myself find any pleasure in that which hurts my Father. If I had just worried once and doubted His love, goodness, faithfulness, and never sinned again, I would’ve deserved the cross. 


Fast from: worry


Hold fast to: a faithful father


Amen.

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