Right now I’m:
No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.–Edmund Burke
…Furnishing my mind
Eliza turned 18 months old and is an endless source of entertainment for us all. She dearly loves reading books (that’s how you can tell she’s one of us!), latching and unlatching things, putting on and taking off her shoes, and dancing.
Recently, she began saying “Yam” for yes ma’am, and when asked to say “I love you” she solemnly blows a kiss and says, “It is.”
After readingThe Locust Effect, I was bothered by the fact that I wasn’t doing anything to help the problems of human trafficking and violence against those in poverty. Then, just a couple of days after I finished the book, a friend invited me to hear a presentation by a lady who, finding herself an empty nester and very convicted about the problem of human trafficking, decided to start a company that partners with organizations who rescue people from human trafficking and give them meaningful work at a fair wage. She imports the things they make and sells them here in the US, giving all of her profits back to the organizations she partners with. I learned a lot from her talk–like the fact that chocolate and coffee are two products that are often implicated in human trafficking, and how by simply spending a dollar more at Costco and buying the fair trade chocolate chips instead of Nestle, I can do something. It’s tempting to say “well, what difference does it make if I buy fair trade coffee or Folgers?” but even little things do make a difference (see Edmund Burke quote from earlier in the post!). At any rate, you can learn more about the company–Accessories for Hope–online, and Sherry does travel to speak at churches and community groups if you’re interested.
…Living the Good Life
We took the children to LegoFest over the weekend, and although I don’t think any of us felt it was worth the price we paid for the tickets, once viewed as a sunk cost it was a fairly fun afternoon. We were expecting more tips and instruction on how to build better, but instead it was more of an exposition of different types of Legos, plus lots of piles of Legos for building random things. The session we went to was sold out and very crowded, so the kids didn’t get to play any of the games and relays. Still, it was fun to get downtown and do something random and unusual with our Saturday!
Even as I was reading about modern slavery in The Locust Effect and modern prejudice and genocide in The Sunflower, the kids have been learning about slavery in history. They were very taken with William Wilberforce, as they all are quite sensitive to injustice. Then we turned to the topic of slavery in America and have been having deep discussions about the Missouri Compromise, the nature of prejudice and injustice, the ways that black people were mistreated in both the North and the South, the way the Irish were mistreated in the North…the kids are drawing connections I would not have expected from their ages and our discussions have been very rewarding.
So, I’m running over 3 miles most mornings now…in the basement. I think I need to move this party outside, but now the 5am temperatures are well below freezing and I still often have kids waking up early while I’m exercising. I did buy a pair of running pants though (on wild clearance, but still) so I feel quite official. I need to find a way to get my strength training back in, and have considered alternating running with a Jillian workout, but at oh-dark-thirty in the morning I’m much more motivated to run than to have Jillian admonish me to “push the up button!!!!”
By Thanksgiving I will have wrapped up the extra work project that has been taking up a lot of my time since August. I am simultaneously looking forward to more breathing room in the schedule while also hoping that not too much time goes by before the next big project appears.
…Building the habit
The last of my fall habits (order, focus, grace, duty) is also a habit that one of the kids is struggling with right now. That has been helpful in reminding me to give grace to this particular kid, since I have a hard time doing things I have to do as well. Duty implies things we ought to do–that is, we have to do them, but we don’t necessarily want to. Lots of life is this way, and it’s worth it to cultivate a habit of duty. This is not to say that you should blindly accept everyone else’s ideas of what you should do, but in the things you know you must do, duty means cutting the whining and getting it done. As an adult, I tend to whine internally and make excuses to avoid things I don’t want to do. I’m tired, I’m stretched too thin, I don’t feel like it…you know. I’m working on catching myself in those thoughts and taking time to think them through–is this a case of needing to give myself grace because I really did only get three hours of sleep, or is this a case of needing to be kind and patient even when I’m on my last nerve? I suppose if there were easy answers I wouldn’t have to work on this habit!
The kids have been listening to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie on audio during quiet times lately. There are a couple of words I wish had been omitted (the hazards of audio books!) but I think due to the narrator’s spectacular accent they haven’t noticed. I need more good audio book recommendations! Send suggestions!
What are you bookmarking this week?
Note: Most of the links in this post are to my longer reviews, but one is to Amazon, and it’s an affiliate link, just so you know!