Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mama Told Me There'd Be Days Like This... the song goes.

I can't post the Small Successes this week as, to be frank, there were none. Due to extreme tiredness, I did next to nothing (Survival Mode: keep kids fed, keep up with laundry, do core subjects, pay bills).

With everything else I have had to play "Look at the Bright Side" with myself. Here is how I played it:

1) We have a sick heifer. She has been unwell for a couple of weeks, seemed at one point to rebound, but now is acting very odd and I am concerned that we may have to call the vet in.

Bright Side: She is not our milk cow, and as she was born here, she cost us nothing. The cow, on the other hand, is a thousand-dollar investment and provides our milk, butter, yogurt, cream and sometimes cheese.

2) Bret's hours have been really cut back recently. In fact, he has had Wednesdays off for the last three weeks. And the future of his job is up in the air.

Bright Side: He's had some time to take on some of the many things that always seem to need doing around a house and farm. And outside of God, the entire concept of "security" is really rather illusory, isn't it?

3) The kids have colds.

Bright Side (this is relatively easy): The colds are not on the severe side, and none of my children are in a hospital fighting for their lives.

4) I have been doing such a bare minimum with the kids recently that I fear public school kids are getting a broader education.

Bright Side (a no-brainer, really): There are a lot of parts of a public school education I really don't want them to get!

5) Our water pump wasn't working this morning and I spent a lot of time under the sink with my finger holding the pump switch in order to get the water I needed for drinking and washing a few dishes. My arm got sore and I bashed my head on the cabinet opening three times.

Bright Side: First off, the problem turned out to be minor--Bret left the faucet on the stock tank running this morning. Then again, I thought of what it would be like to have no access at all to clean water, as is the case with much of the world.

6) My washing machine, once the pump problem was figured out, filled and wouldn't stop filling. I turned the water off, but not before the laundry room flooded. This was sort of a breaking point for me. I was in tears as I cleared out the laundry room in order to mop it up (and, boy, was it a mess, as it doubles as sort of a mudroom), and I really had to fight the self-pity at this point.

Bright Side: as I stood with my bare feet sopping up water with old towels it dawned on me that there are folks in parts of the world like Haiti whose floors become a sea of mud every time it rains, and who have never known the luxury of a washing machine. How foolish the tears! I was able to remind myself that self-pity is indeed a form of pride, wounded pride, and that I shouldn't act like such a spoiled child.

I am happy again for my very blessed life. How good God is when He allows our eyes to be opened to reality.

Hope your day is blessed, too!


  1. Nadja:

    My dear...I hardly know what to say, except this: your successes this week have been monumental! You have loved and cared for your family...all week long. You have nurtured and grown a child in your womb...for quite a few weeks now! You have managed to look on the bright side when things haven't seemed so very bright...

    I hereby award you the Small Successes of the Week Award! As it is an award of my own creation I feel perfectly justified in giving to deserve it!

    Here's a big (((((hug))))) and a prayer for the beautiful weeks ahead!

  2. Kimberly, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Blogging has put me in touch with such delightful, holy women like yourself, and there are days when these connections I have made are what help to keep me focused on what's important.

    Again, thanks! And God bless you and yours.

  3. Nadja,

    Last year my mom's washer did the same thing - just kept filling and filling, then overflowing and flooding. Except she doesn't have a mud room or even a separate room for her laundry machines - they're in a hallway, so when it floods... well, you can just imagine the mess! The icing on the cake: she's in a wheelchair with a broken foot and Peripheral Neuropathy, so that made the cleanup that much harder. Fortunately my dad was home at the time and managed to shut off the water before it got too overwhelming. It turned out to be a broken valve inside the washer, and it was over $120 to repair. Yikes!

    I salute you for the grand job you do day in and day out. And don't worry about the tears - that's one of the ways God gives us to relieve stress. Sometimes a good cry is just what the Doctor ordered.

  4. I got this link form another blog I follow. It is a woman who homeschools her 11 children and she was having a rough week as well. The link is hilarious and I hope it brightens your day!

    Elizabeth DOucette

  5. Thanks, Elizabeth! "Old Woman" of A Broader Mark posted that Homeschool Family video on her blog when I sent it to her a while back. I love it!

    I'm a long way from Job's trials, so I'll not gripe [too much]!

  6. That video is hilarious! I saw it some time ago, and I still laugh for a long time after seeing it. I know it's caricature and stereotyping, but knowing as many homeschooling families as I do, I can appreciate how much work parents to do provide the best education for their children while at the same time working to dispel the misconceptions.

    Cheers and smiles...

  7. What a good attitude!! You forgot a couple--it's ABOVE freezing there!-a running faucet in freezing temps would have been a disaster! and all that tiredness? proof that baby is growing well and you get the priveledge of carrying LIFE within you!!

    just call the vet Hon--I know it costs but the what-if's are killers if you don't. That "free" heifer will SELL for much more than that--and just in case she has a catchy something you want to nip it in the bud--a vet visit is kind of an insurance premium in my veiw--hopefully she just ate something weird and will perk back up but with such a valuable animal it is always good to protect your investment.

    Resale value is huge for your heifer too--there is a BIG niche market of families wanting to start milking for the first time so you could "train" her in and sell her at a premium! Jerseys and Dexters are the most sought-after breeds for this.


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