Friday, June 18, 2021

Five Minute Friday - Lift

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One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.


lift others up
lift your voice
need a lift?

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Hey, you need a lift? I remember times when it wasn't unusual for someone to offer a ride after work or school using those words. At a couple of my jobs way back in the day, I regularly walked home, so it was actually great when a coworker would ask if I needed a lift when it was raining or even really hot. Yeah, I did need a lift. And when it came to a ride, I wasn't too proud to accept either. The one coworker that often gave me a ride became a good friend, and it wound up as more than just a lift home - it was a lift in spirits as we visited and laughed on that short drive.

Do you need a lift? Not just a ride, but a lift? Do you need cheering up, or just someone to listen and commiserate? Do you need advice or a good laugh? I hope there's someone nearby that will offer you a lift. They might not even realize how much help they are offering. Maybe the offer of a lift will come in the form of a simple offer of a helping hand with a small task but it brightens your day and opens a conversation. Maybe it will be an unexpected connection with someone that you work with or just happen to run into. Accept the offer and do your best to lift each other up.

Do those around you need a lift? Of course they do. There's always someone around us that needs a lift. The thing is, they may not ask for help and they may not fully realize that they do need a boost. I'm not always the best at picking up on the signs when people around me are in need of encouragement or comfort. I wish I was better at it. I'm trying to be more consistent in just being encouraging as a matter of course. Just assuming that everyone around me could use a lift.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
~I Thessalonians 5:11~


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This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Lift".



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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Five Minute Friday - Disagree

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog. 

One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.



agree to disagree

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Disagreement isn't fun. It's uncomfortable at best. It's usually an understatement to describe a stomach upset with "I must have eaten something that disagreed with me". Which I've done many times, by the way. It's also usually an understatement to say that I had a disagreement with someone. 

If we all knew how to disagree respectfully and calmly, we'd likely be able to resolve more disagreements, don't you think? If we could be kind and willing to listen, maybe we would learn something or hear other points of view. Maybe we would find that we have more common ground on some issues than we realized at first. We could find solutions to problems and on matters of preference or opinion, we could agree to disagree and we'd be at peace with one another.

If we'd agree to disagree on those things and practice respect, perhaps we'd be better able to find common ground on those bigger and more important issues. There are some issues on which I will not budge, no matter how much you disagree with me. But did you know that it's possible to work alongside folks you disagree with? Did you know you can maintain friendships despite disagreeing with your friend's views? And did you know that you can love your family like crazy even though you disagree? It's not always easy. Sometimes the things we disagree on are big and important issues and it's hard to put them aside and focus on the things we have in common. It's not easy - even with family - to forgive an offense committed when we had a sharp disagreement.

Try agreeing to disagree. There are people dear to me who have very different views of politics, education, parenting, social issues, or religious views; but I love them anyway. For the most part, we get along just fine. Depending on our relationship and the issues we disagree on, we can discuss and debate and learn from each other, or we just know that some things are better left unsaid because we already know where we stand and that we disagree. There are a couple of people that I love dearly, but they don't seem to have anything to say about the very many things we have in common. They rarely offer congratulations or compliments or even just a chatty or humorous comment on something light-hearted. They only stick their oar in when they want to tell me how wrong or stupid they think I am. Their only comments are the ones in which they sneer or mock. That's more than just disagreeing with me. That's disagreeable. I hope they don't intend it, but it feels like they are so focused on our different views on certain issues that they don't even notice anything else about me or my life. 

If you completely disagree with your friend's taste in music, her choice of reading material, or his political views, you could scroll by those posts on Facebook and instead comment on their vacation photos, discuss and debate movies, or compliment them on their achievements or their kids' graduations or whatever. If you only ever show up in their comments to argue with them and their friends, or be snarky about an issue you disagree on, that's not much of a friendship and you're unlikely to get them to agree with you. Even close family relationships become strained when you have nothing kind or friendly to say, and you aren't proving anything other than what a disagreeable and unhappy person you are.

Don't let disagreements over small things end your relationships. Don't be disagreeable just because you disagree. 

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I know I could learn from Paul's example and advice to the church in Phillipi:

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. ~Philippians 3:12-16


This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Disagree".



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Monday, June 7, 2021

Online Book Club - June Theme: Beach

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I've been joining some blogging friends in an online book club, and all our readers are invited to join in as well. Here's how it works:
At the beginning of the month Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool will share a book theme with us. It will be a theme instead of any specific title, so that anyone can participate - moms, dads, teens, kids, or the whole family. During the month, we will read books that go with the theme, and at the end of the month we'll share about what we read. Homeschool families may want to do unit studies or activities that go with the books they read, and they can tell us all about what they did and learned. Adults and teens may just want to share book reviews. 
Visit Hopkins Homeschool to find out more about what she has planned!

I started out with no good ideas for this theme. Oh sure, there are lots of 'beach reads' but I don't have plans to visit the beach and I don't think I've ever read while at the beach anyway. And don't 'beach reads' tend to be contemporary chick lit? I could be wrong about that. But in any case, I didn't think searching for a beach read would be the way to go. 

I searched different beach terms, just hoping for an idea and did run across The Beachcomber's Companion: An Illustrated Guide to Collecting and Identifying Beach Treasures by Anna Marlis Burgard at my library. It looked interesting so I requested it, but at the same time . . . if I'm not going to visit the beach and hunt for shells any time soon, I'm not sure how useful it will be.


But a little more searching turned up something I thought might prove a bit more suitable. Hike Maryland: A Guide to the Scenic Trails of the Free State by Bryan MacKay and Easy Weekend Getaways from Washington, DC: Short Breaks in Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland by Jess Moss. We're looking for vacation ideas and weekend adventure ideas close to home, so this works. Whether or not we actually walk on the beach trails or stay at a beach for a weekend - at least this summer - I'm up for finding out more about the close-to-home possibilities. We might visit non-beach spots mentioned this summer but keep the beach ideas in reserve for another time.

   


Just for fun, I did reserve one novel that popped up on my search list and looked like it might appeal to me. The Shell Collector: A Novel by Nancy Naigle probably qualifies as a beach read, and it's a little outside of what I usually choose. I'm not sure where I'll find time to read it, but I'll place it on my stack with optimism and good intentions!


What are you reading? Do you have any favorite beach reads or beach themed books? Leave a comment and let me know!


Visit all the participating bloggers sometime during the month to find out their reading plans:


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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Five Minute Friday - Slow

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One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.


slow down
slow and steady wins the race

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I am often impatient and easily get frustrated when I'm stuck behind a "slow walker" or a slow driver. When it takes a bit too long to get my order at a restaurant it doesn't bother me but I do find myself wondering what is causing the slow service. It's a bit of a running joke in our family worship team that I have a tendency to set a tempo that is a bit too fast.

You'd think that I don't like slow. And in many cases, that's probably true.

But slow isn't necessarily a bad thing. Slow progress is still progress. Sometimes slow is a very good thing. Slowing down might mean fewer mistakes. Taking it slow might mean enjoying a process as well as just the end result. Slowing down offers a better chance of noticing details, noticing the people, and seeing what else is happening along the way.

And sometimes I wish it would all slow down. The frantic pace. The rushing from one crisis to the next, from one appointment to another. Worrying about tomorrow before today is even over.

And oh how I wish I could slow down the passing of time when it comes to my babies growing up and moving on. My boys getting married and establishing their careers. My daughter finishing college and moving on to university. One step closer to independence. I delight in their growing up and their achievements! I'm excited to see them follow God's purpose for them! But sometimes it feels like it's happening so quickly, and I wish I'd enjoyed them as babies, as little ones, even as teenagers, for just a little longer. Will I be ready for the next letting go? Or will it come too soon?

We're also one step closer to eternity. Will we all be ready? Part of me wants the march of time to slow down, to make sure my loved ones are ready, that we've done all that we want and need to do here on earth. And part of me longs for the day, knowing heaven will be beyond anything we can imagine and that we won't miss anything once we're there.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 
~II Peter 3:9

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
~Revelation 22:20

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This post is linked at Five Minute Friday for the word prompt "Slow".


This post will also be linked at Inspire Me Monday.


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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Currently - Early Summer Edition

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I'm joining Anne in Residence for her "Currently" link-up. This is only my second time joining in, but I hope to keep up with it. Anne posts five action verb prompts for the month and writers respond.

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celebrating all the graduations! It's a bit more fun and inclusive to celebrate this year, as our homeschool oversight group was able to have a commencement without restrictions or masks. (Last year the commencement was outside and attendance was limited) My daughter's boyfriend and a couple of good friend graduated, and some of the moms are good friends of mine. We've attended a couple of grad parties, and have at least one more coming up. We'll also celebrate my daughter's graduation from the community college this week, although that will be a drive-thru diploma presentation and therefore rather a let-down.


collecting pricing for new flooring in our kitchen and dining room. Hopefully we'll find something we like that will be affordable in the near future.

gifting cash to all these grads! 

thinking about refocusing this blog. It's been a homeschool blog for so many years, but I'm not homeschooling any more so I'm a little uncertain about what to do next. I've started adding some of my homeschool how-to content to a homeschool specific platform, and this blog is becoming more general. I have discovered that few homeschool moms are prepared for 'retirement' from that role, and many of us feel rather lost as we make the transition. I've been looking for ways to stay connected with my homeschool mom friends as we all 'retire' and I am planning to stay connected to the homeschool community through teaching at the co-op and perhaps moving towards mentoring or consulting. 

trying to reorganize my kitchen a bit, and it's really not going well. It's looking like I'll need to devote an entire day to it in order to get much done. I decide to move extra mugs and all the glassware to the sideboard cupboard, but that means at least some of the things in that cupboard need a new home. I'd like to put all the baking sheets in this cupboard but then the canning supplies need to go over to that cupboard, which means that the small appliances in that cupboard need to go somewhere else . . . and so it goes. I'm scared to do just part of the job because who knows how long it will take before I finish!

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This post is linked at Anne in Residence for this month's  "Currently".


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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

May Photo Album

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Well, after fifteen days to flatten the curve or whatever it was turned into fifteen weeks and then longer, we have finally - after fifteen months - had restrictions lifted and things are headed back towards "normal" again. It's not normal yet, and perhaps never will be, but it's closer. Spring is here and the weather has been unseasonably warm in the last couple weeks, which actually feels pretty good at this point!

The young adult group set up their food truck at the greenhouse the first couple Saturdays of the month, selling burgers and barbecue to offset the cost of an upcoming retreat. We took the opportunity to do a couple 'tours' of the greenhouse too.








The annual and obligatory Mother's Day photo with my daughter.

She was accepted to Mount Saint Mary's University and we are working out details now before making it official!



I tried to pay more attention to the birds visiting the feeder and managed to get a few photos that aren't too bad. One morning I got to see a fledgling robin up close too.






We made it to the end of the co-op school year successfully! In person classes all year, with only one snow day! This was one of my thank you notes:


The kids made use of the front porch to tie dye t-shirts. 


Dinner with friends one evening in Gettysburg was followed by a little walking:



And hubby and I are trying the Conqueror Challenge virtual walking tours. You get the app and purchase the "tour" of your choice, then enter your walking, running, or cycling miles into the virtual tour to see where you are. He's walking some long trail in Australia and I'm climbing Mount Fuji.


Where did you go and what did you do in May?

This post will be linked at the Wordless Wednesday hosted by Life on Chickadee Laneand at the Wordless Wednesday hosted by Tots and Me . . . Growing Up Together!


Photobucket 

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Online Book Club - Wrapping Up May: Spring

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I've joined in with some blogging friends for an online book club, and we are wrapping up this week. By the way, all our readers are invited to join in as well. Each month we'll have a theme to build our book picks around, and our May theme was Spring. 

Beekeeping: A Handbook on Honey, Hives & Helping the Bees by Joachim Petterson - This was the bargain book I'd picked up and thought would go with the theme of spring. It is a nice primer book with lots of helpful and interesting information. It starts out explaining a little about the importance of bees as pollinators, and describes some plants that are good draws for honeybees. I found it interesting that the author suggested bee houses or hotels to attract solitary bees. The carpenter bees that are so annoying and drill holes in the exposed wood on my front porch are solitary bees, and I'm not yet convinced I want them around. Pollinators or not. I'd rather attract some honeybees, I think. 

Chapter Two is about life in the hive. Chapters Three and Four form the bulk of the book, with lots of practical and detailed descriptions about how to get started with hives. Chapter Four is titled Beekeeping Year-Round and guides readers through an entire beekeeping year. Spring is when you can begin working with your bees again after the long winter break. 
One sunny day, when everything has begun to warm up, the bees leave the hive for the first flight of the year. This is called the cleansing flight and it is the beginning of the bees' spring development.
And do you know why it's called a cleansing flight? The bees need to poop after holding it all winter! Gives a new meaning to spring cleaning, doesn't it?

Anyway, the book goes on to detail all the spring tasks of the beekeeper, including cleaning and inspecting the hive - more spring cleaning!

Summer chores and honey harvesting and more are described as well. The final chapter is not very long, but has valuable info on the grades of honey, on beeswax and other bee products, and a few recipes. Photos throughout the book are vivid and attractive, often full page. 

I still don't know for sure when I'll be ready to get started with my first hive, but I feel more ready all the time. 
At last! The real spring warmth is finally here. A sunny and warm day in April, or perhaps as late as the first week of May, the temperature rises . . . Now it's time for a proper spring inspection of the hives. It's a great feeling to finally get to stick your hands in the hive, feel the warmth of the bees, and sense the sweet smell of wax . . . The bees tend to be quite gentle this early in the spring, but as a beginner you should put on your veil and gloves.

I still haven't received my other pick for this month: The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking, Hosting and Opening the Door to Happiness by Laura Calder. The book promised help with "getting yourself motivated for spring cleaning" which I thought would be very useful. However, it still hasn't come from the library. Not sure what the holdup is, because it hasn't been requested by others. Just slow to get to me. Maybe somebody knew that although I recognized my need for help with motivation, I wouldn't actually be ready to get started until more like June. Hopefully whenever it does arrive, I will be properly motivated too! Even if my spring cleaning doesn't get started until early summer.




Visit Hopkins Homeschool to find out more about the online book club, and visit all the participating bloggers to see what they've read as part of this theme!


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