7 Quick Takes Friday

Well, Jennifer over at Conversion Diary does this ("7 Quick Takes Friday") every Friday. This is my first time, and may be my only time- I don't do well with online consistency. :) But here are 7 (actually, it's 8) "Quick Takes" from my week:

  1. Moses (he's nearly 6 weeks old, can you believe it?) has been sleeping 6-7 hours each night for the last week now. Oh my goodness, my body and mind are feeling the delight.

  2. I just did Level 1 of Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred. Feels good. It's a 20-minute deal... it cracked me up when she said, "I know you just want to shut off this DVD right now, but keep it going. Stay with me." Because I totally felt like shutting it off. But I know she's right... if I put in the work, I can be healthy. My goal isn't to have fabulous abs... but to be healthy and strong. I think this should contribute to that. Let's just all hope I can consistently do this a few times a week.

  3. There is a real stress to life with little ones that we all feel but isn't too often discussed, because it's embarrassing and frustrating to feel yourself be a grump towards your kids. I've been feeling it. It's a combination of hormones, heat, the hectic pace, and happening-upon-spilled-juice,-play-doh-messes,-and-someone-crying-"he-just-hit-me", all at the same time. Or something along those lines. And none of us are perfect.

    My husband and I have been talking about how to deal better with these things... like, expect a spill at least once a day, then you won't be surprised when it happens. And, pray for self-control and gracious words in our reactions. And, call each other on it when we've blown it (yes, this one requires both parties fully signing onto this agreement, or else it could get ugly). And, just be honest with our kids that we are imperfect humans and humbly ask for their forgiveness each time it's needed. Any other practical ideas on dealing with frustration and anger?

  4. I finished "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin at the beginning of this week, and you know what? I believe him. After reading that book, I feel like if I wanted to, I really COULD farm. But I think I've already mentioned my problem with consistency over time, haven't I? He makes the point that cows don't do well if you milk them at 4pm one day, 5pm the next, and 3pm the next. Consistency matters... so I don't think I'll be running a dairy (except for the milk I personally produce) anytime soon.

  5. Also, today, I finished reading Julie and Julia. Wow, she has a foul mouth. And she admits to it, I'm not saying anything she didn't say at least half a dozen times in her own book. Maybe I'm really out of it but do people really, in real life, seriously curse that often? She used the f-word in probably every possible part of speech at some point in the book. And yes, I kept reading. I'm really not altogether offended by cuss words, and I'd heard great things about the story line (on that point-- eh, it was OK), so I pressed on. But even though I'm not that offended by cuss words, I do notice cuss words, especially when they are such a large percentage of a person's used vocabulary.

    And as for the book, I dog-eared one recipe I want to try, but the book itself struck me as highly self-absorbed, cloyingly hip and cynical, and like what so many people without Christ need to do to try to find purpose in their lives. You know... the people in Better Off that lived off the grid and joined an Amish community for a year. The guy who "lived biblically" for a year by following the Old Testament laws and took to carrying around a stool so he didn't have to sit on the same chair that a menstruating woman had sat on. The guy currently walking across America so he can take it all in (he's in Oregon now, almost done!). I'm not saying any of these are bad (in fact, except for the absurdity of the legalistic stool guy, I think all of these are pretty neat ideas and stuff I myself would like to do/learn how to do). But I think we all--even "Christians"-- can tend to seek fulfillment through things/experiences rather than in Christ. It's great to want to learn to cook well, but that, in and of itself, will never bring long-lasting fulfillment.

  6. It's been a long time since I've had a real life female close friend. A heart-level honesty-baring friend. I miss that. I've taken to baring my soul to our ladies' Bible study group each week... which is great for transparency and accountability, but not good for getting feedback and really connecting with another person the way it happens when it's 1-on-1. But I'll take what I can get and I am thankful for those ladies who hear what is basically my confession each week.

  7. Finally, my husband is just incredible. I love him, I love him, I love him. He 1-Corinthian-13-style-loves me so faithfully and palpably... and I would be up a creek without him. I wouldn't be me without him. He challenges me and laughs with me and cares for our children and makes me sleep in (yes, makes me, because often once I wake up the first time during daylight hours--to nurse-- my mind starts racing and it's very difficult for me to fall back asleep) and rubs my feet and corrals four children at the dinner table single-handedly (while I nurse Moses) and leads us to memorize Scripture (which I basically stink at, were it not for his taking the lead in this direction) and more that I'm just not going to lay out here because it would take all day. Basically, he's incredible. I know it's a blessing... and I'm so thankful for him.

  8. OK, I came back to add this one, so consider it a freebie. Today, we were driving and listening to music, and our oldest son said, "my favorite bands are U2, the Beatles, and Johnny Cash". Now, that's some good taste, if I do say so myself. :)

And that's my first, and what may be my only, 7--no 8-- Quick Takes Friday. Feedback? Thoughts?


Luv 2 Kreate said...

What a fabulous list! I really enjoyed reading this :)

Jessica said...

That was a good read. ;-) You're blog that is.

I started Jillian's 30 day shred a month ago too. I'm sticking with level 1 and alternating with her yoga. I'm not into too much torture.

I totally get the baby, family, spilled juice stress. Through much surrendering I've become less of a nag lately. It's been good for everyone.

Julia said...

I agree with Luv 2 Kreate. Really enjoyed reading. Looks like you have some interesting stuff here. I'll have to look around.

I know what you mean about not having a female close friend that you can really talk with. Something to pray for I guess.

Missus Wookie said...

I figure the two weekly posts I do are a good discipline and a reminder to me later what went on that week :) One of which is a 7QTF and I've just done mine so it was fun to read yours.

But I have a friend who does 'mid week mundanities' whenever the mood strikes her.

Nice to see you blogging again!

Missus Wookie.

Shay said...

That's a shame about the Julia book. I feel similarly about cursing: I'm not really offended by it, and honestly I am a bit sweary at times myself. But after a certain age I found that the people who curse a ton are the ones who are either unintelligent or dull, and can't find a better way to communicate.
I have a Bob Harper dvd and he's encouraging along the same lines as Jillian. I need that encouragement, haaaa, as I so want to sit down by halfway through. :)

EllaJac said...

I so relate on the grumpy/tired/frustrated thing. Argh.

I LOVE Joel Salatin, AND that book, and the rest of his books.

Good job with the exercise. I did T-Tapp and it restored my (not much of) fitness. 4 months after baby #4, I still couldn't balance, couldn't lift one leg far enough to put on pants, etc. :)

Tanya said...

U2, Beatles and Johnny Cash. Nice. Well done Little Man, well done. :)

I, too, wish I had a close friend like that. I used to have a couple of close friends like that - but now we are geographically not very close so that makes it hard.

Jessica B. said...

I really struggle not having a real life female friend to share life with also. I miss the days of living in seminary housing surrounded by godly women and having a church full of women who speak truth in love... but that's not quite the real world is it?
I must say, I think at this point I would have to contain my excitement if my husband he really felt he needed his Ph.D and we were headed back to seminary :)

Anonymous said...

Loved loved these little "slices of life" - they keep it real! I would encourage you to keep this up. Blessings!

Sanders said...

Can totally relate to 3 & 6! Thanks for sharing! :O) I'm impressed with your son's music taste - now he just needs to add a little Lyle Lovett into the mix! ;O)

julie said...

I love to hear what you appreciate about your husband at this stage in life. As a single, I think we often have skewed perspectives on what matters in a husband. Sounds like you have a man who has the qualities that really count--God is good! Also appreciate your honesty about the hard times in raising kids, and how you're trying to help one another to deal with life in a Biblical manner, and not excuse sin. It is always nice to drop by here :)

Ashley said...

close, real-live friendships are so important. i am so thankful, though, for the virtual ones to fill the spaces in between. i know it must be hard moving all the time and being an another country where there are very few iron-sharpening Christian ladies (let alone, ladies who speak English???). this really speaks to my heart and i will pray for you a "bosom friend". my mom says that we are too old to crave bosom buddies, but i disagree!

Katherine S. said...

Thanks Jess,
It definitely is a good practice to look back over the week and acknowledge positive times and growth areas. As a mum with 4 little ones 3 and under (including twins) I can get bogged down with cleaning, feeding, napping routines that when someone asks me what I have been up to, I can't think of anything to say. When really there is plenty, but my memory can't keep up.
Your blog has always been a blessing and an encouragement, I often feel like you have been reading my mind and heart - I love how God works through his body even online!
Congratulations on your new addition too, I love your posts about the birth and your first months with Moses. I rejoice with you and feel your struggles, my youngest, Declan is 4 months and what you say is very close to the mark with us.
These practical ideas have been helping me:
- praying! when everyone is screaming or I'm about to blow up, I close my eyes and pray REAL LOUD for strength, mercy, patience. Not only do I seek God's help first but the children SEE me do it and usually quiet down and watch/listen.
- take someone out of the equation, either send a child to their room or take myself away until I can deal with the situation calmly.
- sing a song/ nursery rhyme

thanking God for you

Jess said...

I can so identify with what you said-

"when someone asks me what I have been up to, I can't think of anything to say. When really there is plenty, but my memory can't keep up."

SO true! To me, intentional motherhood is more mentally demanding than any other thing I've ever done. Trying to really engage in loving and teaching each child as they need, cooking healthily and within budget, keeping everyone working together cheerfully in the home, keeping our home in that balance of clean enough to be healthy but casual enough to be happy. When you add in staying in the Word and learning about personal areas of interest, I feel like my brain is about to burst, there's so much going on in here! :)

Anyway, I can identify with all that you wrote. Thanks for sharing!

The Pennington Point said...

I've been a subscriber for a long, long time. But I rarely (maybe never?) comment. I usually skim...not that it's uninteresting, but you know....time. But I wanted to tell you that I really liked this post. It was real and open....I feel like I got to know you a little better. Thanks,

Tara said...

As the mom of six (seven in Nov.), 2 with special needs, I totally understand the stress you're talking about in #3. My only word of advice is to commit each day to God, and recognize that every interruption is part of His plan for your day. I don't know why that helps me, but it does. Otherwise, I get frustrated by the constant interruptions (spills, fights, messes, owies, etc.) of MY plan for the day. Giving it over to Him helps me roll with it, better.

Amy said...

Jess, thanks for sharing from your heart. I was thinking about how you guys don't have a/c and you've got a new little one and WOW, I just breathed a prayer for you. I get so cranky when it's hot. I will continue to pray for you and your 'neat people' as the Lord consistenly lays y'all on my heart.

On #3, I have a practical tip for dealing with frustration and anger to share with you. It's from Michelle Duggar and I read it in their book. (Have you by chance read their book?) She lowers her voice, almost to a whisper when she starts to feel the anger coming on, drawing on the wisdom from Proverbs that a 'soft answer turneth away wrath'.

She shares this strategy and more in a little section called 'Model and Teach How to Resolve Anger' in the chapter entitled 'Matters of the Heart' in their book. I'd be happy to type out that little bit and email it to you if you're interested.

On #6, God has been making me aware of this frienship need in my life. I've come to realize that that kind of friendship truly is a divine gift from God. I pray He brings that gift back into your life. It's obvious from the comments (and others I've seen around the blogosphere) that there is a shortage of true sisterhood friendships. I hope that through this season of lonliness, as I seek Him for true friends, that He is sharpening me in this area and that I can be that kind of friend to others. It makes me so glad that Heaven is near, and forever!

On #8, your boy has musically intelligent tastes...these favs or pretty much geniuses of their art!

Bless you Jess!

Beth Moore said...

Lisa pretty much summed up my feelings. I've been reading your blog for some time, and always enjoyed your thought provoking posts, but this one gave me a little more intimate of a peek into your life.

I also agree on so much of what you said in the 2nd part of #5. And, probably am guilty of chasing after earthly goals with way more verve than getting close to my Lord. I'll be praying on that quite a bit in the days to come.

Erin said...

I loved this post!

#2- I did Level 1...maybe twice. Didn't shut it off, just quit. But my intentions were so good! I hope you succeed!

#3- I know. I sometimes feel like an overloaded fuse. Trying to do 19 things at once, trying to remember to do 12 more, all while training up little ones. I am trying to learn to just close my eyes and wait out the frustrating moment; like a labor pain, the worst of it passes and I can be a bit more thoughtful and patient in my reactions.

#5- So true. Not a very likeable narrator, though the movie presented her in a different light. The memoir genre is my current favorite; just read 'Orange is the New Black' and found it fascinating.

#8- Great taste!

Thanks for sharing; I always enjoy reading your thoughts!

mary grace said...

My feedback is that I wished I lived closer to you, b/c I would love to be your IRL friend. :-)

Mrs. Jorgenson said...

Wow, it's like you wrote my thoughts on numbers 5 and 6: as to #5, I think cuss words can actually be very effective when used (incredibly) sparingly but make a person look unoriginal when overused, and the author just didn't resonate with me...but the movie was fun.

As to #6, after I became a Christian, I realized that my close friendships in the past were really for nothing (especially as some even turned on me for my faith). I haven't made any close female confidants since, but so far that's been okay; I struggle with praying consistently, so leaning on the Lord for companionship has been very sweet.

Merri said...

Your part about being grumpy with children and keeping up with the pace of little ones (we have 4 7yrs and under) really encouraged me. I am right there now and praying, begging God everyday to help me. My only suggestion is a bible study on self control (which I am currently working through) and memorizing those verses. There is something very humbling about failing so often in this area. Though you don't know me, I lurk around your blog because I like what I see and your straight up godly advice makes me think. So it is nice to hear that someone like you struggles like someone like me. Maybe there is hope after all?? :) God bless you today in the midst of all the spills and hugs.

Amy said...

I completely am pricked and guilty of the stress with little ones. Your suggestions are wonderful-i will expect a spilled juice and day and roll with it instead of steaming over it. I find that i expect at least one melt down per grocery trip (i don't mean a screaming fit, but a trying to grab something/tell me 50 times 'snack Mama, please'/standing inthe buggy offense). if i think one child will shed a tear and have a tough moment then i'm ready for it, deal with it appropriately, and move on.

Also, I am so impressed with your oldest's music taste!! Honestly, how can you NOT love Johnny Cash?? Thank you for your posts-they are so encouraging.

Amy B.

Ashley said...

I used to do Show and Tell on my blog too. I loved it so much on your blog, that I started doing it on my own...However, then my computer crashed and I lost all of my bookmarks (Just like you)...

Now I use tumblr, instead of doing Show and Tell. Then I send out the links whenever I find good posts or such I want to share. I have my tumblr page linked from my blog, and also everytime I update tumblr, it goes out to twitter and facebook as well. It's worked pretty good.

P.S. I love your Show and Tell posts!!! So, I'm a little bummed that that happened to you. Sorry...

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I know this is late, but I had to pop in to tell you how excited I was to see you participating in 7QT since you're one of my favorite bloggers.

I LOVED reading your takes -- I could write a post in response to each one of them. Some quick thoughts:

#2 - Thanks for that recommendation! I've been considering trying the 30-Day Shred but couldn't decide. Now I think I'll give it a shot. (Also, did you read what Jillian said about women's bodies and pregnancy? So sad. I feel bad for her that that's her worldview.)

#4 - LOL! I've had the exact same thoughts. I would love to go "off the grid," but I am such an inconsistent person. I'd feel bad for any animals left to my care. :)

#5 - Sadly, yes, people in certain segments of society do use profanity that much. I read emails that I sent to my husband back in 2002, and I think, "Sheesh, could I not type a single sentence without the f-word?" That's just how we talked. Looking back, it seems so nasty, unnecessarily and lame.

...the book itself struck me as highly self-absorbed, cloyingly hip and cynical, and like what so many people without Christ need to do to try to find purpose in their lives.

I'm very interested in blog-to-book memoirs, so I tried to read J&J, but I just couldn't get through it, for the exact reasons you list.

Anyway, these were a great read! Thanks for joining in! (And in case I haven't said it yet, congratulations on your new little one!)