Well, I have a new look to the blog...finally. It took me quite a while to get a feel for how to set everything up so it would look both cool and symmetrical. That was actually quite a pain to do, setting up the symmetry. Anyhow, I'm at peace with it now, and excited about the new look! :)
This week I've been trying really hard to deal with anger and impatience, especially with my sweet kiddos. Life is stressful right now as Jared's busy, busy, busy with the semester in full swing, and I'm "semi" preparing us for a move - to a new place - that will be happening in December. We really love this house that we're in and its location in Lawrence, but the rent is ridiculous, so we're embracing frugality and moving into a two-bedroom place...somewhere.
Anyhow, I struggle, as I'm sure many people do, with impatience. Too often I snap at the kids when it's really not about them, it's about me. So frustrating. I've been reading lots of great stuff about using gentleness in the home, especially regarding learning (from homeschooling to simply reading aloud with the kids), and that is certainly helping me deal with and try to conquer my impatience. I've been reading lots of John Holt (this obviously has more to do with education than anything else), but it really transfers to how I handle the kids, as well. He was a smart man, that John Holt. Along the line of education, I've also been reading Suzie Andres' two books: Homeschooling with Gentleness, and A Little Way of Homeschooling. Excellent, excellent books, full of endless encouragement. I've also been reading lots of St. Therese, and I'm trying to get into An Introduction to The Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales.
I'm part of a fantastic Catholic Unschooling group on Yahoo, and one of the women there wrote about doing a "study in anger," trying to control her own anger so that her family and home would have more peace. It inspired me, and so here I am, working on that very thing. :) I'm also reading Parenting with Love and Logic, which is a pretty great parenting book, I think, and all about keeping the peace, mutual respect, etc.
I've noticed for myself that if we can keep the house in general good order so there's basically just light picking up to do, I'm more at peace. If I'm up before everyone, I'm more at peace. If I've prepared breakfast ahead (by way of baking the night before, or just have things prepped for fast cooking), I'm more at peace. And, most importantly, if I set aside some personal prayer time, or at least pray with Jared for a while, my whole day goes better, and I am more focused on my kids, my temperament, and am more able (or willing?) to look to God for help. So why, then, do I not keep this up consistently? I like to blame it on the fact that Jared's not around as much, so I'm more tired, less able to plan ahead, etc. Hmmm, seems like an easy cop-out. :) As you can see, I am still a work in progress. *sigh* I turn to a prayer from St. John of the Cross:
"O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You. Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O You, King of Gentleness, King of Peace."