Thursday, December 10, 2015

Adventing: Resting in Christ

Have you ever taken on projects that normally would be too much, but you're still managing to get things accomplished peacefully? Over the past few weeks, my plate seems to becoming more and more full.  Yet, this Advent still seems to be more intentional slower when compared to years past.
Why is that?  I'm not really sure.  On top of the normal day to day of keeping everyone mostly safe, relatively clean, kind of fed, and somewhat educated, I have been given opportunities to grow in faith, fellowship, service, and my own education.  Over the last few weeks I have entered into this new kind of peaceful busyness. .  if there is such a thing.  

Currently, I am admin-ing two Facebook groups.  These are not solo endeavors; I'm working with some fantastic ladies!  But, there is a bit of personal time devoted to it.  One is the Catholic Peg Doll Swap group, with two other ladies. I get to serve women who want to share the faith with their families through crafts in a way they might not be able to otherwise.  The other is the Catholic Woman Scopes group where I work alongside of Amber the nurturing pioneer, Sterling the encouraging evangelist, Ashley the philosophical apologist. We are just building a community with Periscope to grow in faith and fellowship with other women.  And I'm trying to educate myself in Catholicism, classical education, social media, and how to be an adult while trying to remain a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  Not to give you my laundry list, but to let you know I'm being pulled in ways I've never been pulled before.  

I'm #Adventing with Ashley and we are reading The Joy of Advent with Saint Benedict.  Each day, we the book provides us with the gospel, a quote from St. Benedict, a reflection, and a prayer.  Today's short gospel spoke to me.

"Jesus said to the crowds: 'Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.'"  Matthew 11: 28-30

And the St. Benedict quote paired with this gospel was incredible as well.  He basically said to be obedient in the fight for Christ.  He called obedience a "powerful and shining weapon".  Obedience would be fulfilling God's will, would it not?  In the reflection portion, it is reemphasized that we are to pick up Jesus' yoke, but not put ours down by carrying both we can see we can see the light of God.  When we are obediently following God’s will, we are resting in Christ.  Our burdens remain our burdens, but the burden is light. And then we can find peace.

Maybe that is what I’m experiencing, right now?  This peaceful busyness?  

This post is apart of the Blessed Is She #BISsisterhood link-up.  Please head over there to see what others have to say this week about PEACE. 
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kicking off Advent with St. Benedict

Image found at Roaming Catholic

Several weeks ago when Ashley at Between the Linens asked if I would be interested in joining her in reading a book during Advent, I jumped in and said yes.  One, because she’s awesome. And two, I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit uses my spontaneity to work through me; otherwise I would never make a decision to do anything that may seem challenging.

After saying yes to this project, I realized what I was saying yes to, and I would be lying if didn’t admit to being intimidated.  This is out of my comfort zone.  I lack understanding, vocabulary, and confidence. I said yes and before I knew it, I was putting it out publicly that I was taking this on with Ashley.  So here I am, at the beginning of Advent and a new year in the Church with little to offer other than the journey that God has prepared for me. . .us. . . this season.

We are using The Joy of Advent with St. Benedict. I know very little about St. Benedict; after reading his brief history chapter, I can see why I did not connect with him sooner. His Rule of Life goes against every natural tendency that I possess.  His rule is something I don’t really want to live by but I recognize that slowing down, prioritizing, creating order, and taking the time to contemplate is something I need in my home and prayer life.  Being a Christian is hard, especially when we acknowledge that something must change even when we are comfortable with how things are. However, the change is necessary  in order to grow in our faith.

So readers, ‘scopers, ‘grammers, tweeters, and facebookers, I’m beginning the journey completely aware that you are probably further down the path that I am.  Hopefully, we can learn and grow within this beautiful community.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Building Community

A Catholic women's scope group was created last week and my extroverted self can not slow down my brain.  Out of pure excitement there were two back to back scope hops #catholicscopes. And I couldn't help but jump on, but being a extrovert I left being really charged and having a hard time going to sleep each night.

Many women have been eager to hop on to this fairly new platform, but may felt like they were talking to no one.  This new group has organically given the broadcasters an audience (that is probably just a nervous as they are).  And in a matter of days the group has grown and has been fairly active.  You don't have to broadcast to be part of the group.  Being live and talking into your phone is not for everyone, but there is lots of activity in the comments.  We are all here learning the platform and getting to know each other at the same time.  It has been so much fun.  The only prerequisite for the group is being a Catholic woman.

I will say there are many homeschooling moms in the group, I think because it can often be hard to get out and make friends with like minded people if you don't have a local community.  To find a friend that understands the season of life you are in can be difficult whether you're homeschooling or not.  Periscope can create a community quickly.  But the group needs women from all walks of life.  We all don't have the same calling, but I can still be encouraged and learn from other walks of life.  I see so much potential and fellowship possibilities.

I am still really awkward, maybe I'll always see myself as awkward, but I'm hoping that will improve.  And if not, I'm thankful for the forgiving community that is beginning to grow.  :)  

Friday, November 13, 2015

7QT: Wedding, Dolls, and Social Media

It is the quickest of quick takes, because I NEED to get to bed.  And they are going to be all over the place!  Make sure you head over the Kelly's for more quick takes!

1. This last trip to North Carolina was quick.  Chris's cousin was getting married so the kids and I headed to back to celebrate.  We had a wonderful time, but it was different not having my cousins to help with the kids like I did at my brother's wedding.  The four kids seemed to be going in every direction.

2.  You know the peg doll group I'm always talking about, right?  Well, we will be opening our new swap on December 1st.  I'm pumped!  It's an Easter Swap.  The idea is to have them done, swapped, and delivered before Holy Week.  I'm getting all the details for that swap set up now.  Feel free to join the Facebook group.  We do more than peg dolls, though we try to stick to painting wood.  You can join the group for community or to get ideas an tips to host your own local swap.  Being part of the group does not commit you to any swap, and there are many of lovely ladies there.

3.  Homeschool.  Let's just say something is getting done everyday.  Very little some days.  But something.  Our first six weeks were so strong, and now it feels like I'm pulling teeth.

4.  Christy over at Fountains of Home wrote this.  I'm so glad she wrote it.  She articulated what, I think, many were thinking.  I am happy for my old faves, and there are still wonderful blogs to read.  I just need to troll the interwebs to find some new ones!

5. Voxer is my new favorite app.  It's like walkie talkie text messaging.  You record a message and it is sent.  The person will listen and respond when they can.  Voxer gives me the freedom to do what needs to be done like text messaging, with the speed of conveying my message because I'm speaking like a phone call.  Not to mention you can hear inflections, too.  

6.  Ashley over at Between the Linens is my super duper awesome friend!  Her and I are teaming up and using social media through Advent.  Blog posts, Periscope, Google Hangout for sure are on the calendar.  We are still ironing out the details, but we would LOVE for you to join us.  We are using THIS BOOK.  It's on kindle of $7.99. 

**Update we are changing out book, but we still plan to do an Advent book study.**

7.  Last night Catholic Women Scopes group was formed, and I'm stoked.  Ashley and I have been talking about this for about two months, and I'm so excited that it was created.  Tonight we are going to be doing a scope hop starting at 10pm EST.  The theme this week is favorite saints.  There is sign up in the group.  We will start with the first person and work our way down the list hopping from one scoper to the next.  I'm kind of awkward, but I'm excited for the opportunity to learn, be inspired, and connect with others.  If you don't really want to scope hopefully you can grab a cuppa and join in on the chatbox. #catholicscopes 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Upping My Prayer Game Recap.

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse, but Periscope is fun.  I am totally awkward, but there are great scopers to watch.  Entrepreneur and marketing scopes are so cool.  Okay, that might be a bit of time waste for me since I don't own a business, but business stuff can be kinda neat.

I went for it, and I've nervously scoped three times now.  I have two of them "caught" on Katch.  You can watch them there if you want.  The latest one is at the bottom of the post.   Interacting with people while being viewed is just as hard as typing in a comment.  Lots of "uhhh"s and "like"s on my part.   And I do this weird teeth sucking thing. Yikes!  Watching the replays is painful, but I realize I have to break some habits if I don't want to look like an idiot.  Looking at the little circle on my phone that is my camera is tough.  It's really easy to get distracted.  The tripod attachment has been order so I won't look quite as awkward, and I can use my hands while I speak.  More than likely it was remain awkward because I am.  Sounds enjoyable, right?  And I'm still putting it out there for people to see.  What is wrong with me? ;)

Let's take a minute to recap the latest scope.  Building my prayer life and fostering the virtue of piety.  Upping my prayer game.

Starting small.  My first goal is to do the morning offering before I lift my head off the pillow.  And if I'm not rushing to the bathroom, or making bowls of cereal I will say a Hail Mary, too.  Handing everything over before I even get out of bed will start the day out right.

Going to confession.  During the scope my friend Pam and I set a date to go to confession this Friday.  Stoked.  As much as I ever am about confession.  The examination of conscience can be an ugly task.  But I'm really looking forward to absolution.

Daily mass.  Friday when I go to confession, I will be going to mass too!  I'm going to try to make it a weekly thing.  Wednesdays, maybe?  Jesus is there.  I should want to be there with Him as often as I can.  Not that I don't.  Laziness.

Study. Or meditation.  Or discernment.  Carving out five minutes completely devoted to God.  Blessed Is She has a free personal study on their site.  I downloaded it, and I have started working through the questions.  They are simple, but tough.  I have picked up Full of Grace: Women and the Abundent Life by Johnnette Benkovic  I'm have a hard time figuring out where I am suppose to be in God's plan. Hopefully I can use that time and those resources to figuring it out.

I think these few things are very manageable for me right now.  Are you doing anything to up your prayer game?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Simon Paul Lockhart: The Birth

Simon Paul Lockhart 10-26-2012
Better late than never, right?  Three years ago I was full term with our third (likely over ten pound) baby.  Simon was due on his sister's birthday.  I was miserable and was hoping to have him early.  But I was relieved when Amelia's birthday was over and Simon hadn't arrived.  I was hoping to go early, but going late to avoid sharing a birthday with is sister was fine with me.

Throughout the month Chris had several assignments that kept him away from the house.  He completed a gunnery, family day (the kids and I were able to attend the family day), NCO stuff, and tending to the arms room.

39 weeks with Simon.
I was warned that Chris had to go to the arms room early in the morning so I wasn't surprised at 5:00am when I woke up and he wasn't there.  The contractions weren't painful but they were steady.  My go to pregnancy remedy is get into the tub.  Around 5:30 Chris was home, and I told him we needed to head to the hospital.

While Chris was getting Owen and Amelia dressed I gave my friend Moriah a call.  Owen and her son were in the same preschool class, and she was willing to drop him off for us.  I called my friend Erin to see if I could drop off Amelia since we would pass by her house on the way to the hospital.  Both friends obliged and we continued to get ourselves into the van.

It was about 7:00 am and we had just dropped off Amelia when I gave the OB a call.  The lady on the phone told us to take our time, a shower would be nice, and to come to the OB office not the ER because labor and delivery was pretty full.  You see, we are in a military town and husbands had returned home about a year ago.  Actually, there was a mom from Owen's class that went into labor the same day as me.  Anyway, maybe I should have called before we left the house, but we were already on our way.  Amelia came so quickly, I didn't think it was a good idea to go back home.  We stopped to fill the car up with gas and went to the OB office, which was at the hospital.

At about 7:30 am I walked in and said my name and I had a contraction.  They rushed me to an exam room, I think mostly not to worry the soon to be moms in their waiting room.  The doctor that checked me determined that I was eight centimeters.  The nurse said, "do not break her water."  I think he was new and if not a student pretty fresh out of school.  I was put into a wheel chair and rushed to the very full L&D.  Not only was it a military season of having babies, but L&D was under construction.

Around 8:00am I was put in shared room with another lady who was having contractions monitored.  I remember I had two nurses trying to have me admitted.  So while I was handling contractions one lady was asking questions, while the other was doing bracelets and IVs.  Mostly what I remember is a sea of faces.  It was a tiny half of a room.  The midwife had a student under her wing and so did the nurses.  My husband was back against the wall, once they realized that he was by my side.  Another midwife remembered me from an appointment and asked if she could watch.  Sure, the more the merrier!

We forgot the camera again.

Fatherhood always looks good on him.

At one point I was told I could move to a delivery room.  I said no, let's just have this baby.  So we did.  After breaking my water Simon was here in three easy pushes.  After three and half hours of labor Simon arrived at 9:01am weighing 10 pounds 10 ounces and 21.5 inches long.  The first thing Chris said when he saw Simon was "where are his cheeks!" The older two had very full faces, and by comparison Simon did not.

Really, he doesn't have cheeks compared to Owen and Amelia.
Simon has brought (and is still bringing) a new dynamic to our home.  Pretty sure mine and Chris's sanctification is largely riding on this guy.  He's trying and affectionate.  Stubborn and caring.  Demanding and imaginative. I'm honored that we have been entrusted with this spirited soul!

#3, priorities.

"Mom pictures" of me are usually
But there is something about this one I like.

Hello world!
Owen's birth story.
Amelia's birth story.
Becket's birth story.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Periscope: Not Sure Where To Go.

I finished my first Periscope few hours ago.  When I posted on Friday that I was going to "scope" I instantly regretted it.  Over the weekend I just didn't post anything else about it because I was considering chickening out.  Well a few hours before going on I had a random surge of courage.  And the hour leading up to beginning the scope again I had regret.  But you know what?  It wasn't too bad once we got in there.  I loved interacting with others in the room.  Public speaking isn't a gift I have, but sitting around chit chatting might be.

Watching the replay was a bit awkward.  I make lots of weird faces, and I wasn't looking at the camera, most of the time.  I wonder if I do that in real life conversations.  Then I babbled about why I think Periscope is cool.  As an extrovert, I see it as great way to socialize with other women with out leaving the home, because getting away isn't always easy with a working husband and four young kids.  People are having book clubs, building communities, and sharing ideas on Periscope.  I frequent the homeschooling scopes mostly, but have been watching many entrepreneur scopes and scopes about scopes because they are really interesting.  I would love to see a Catholic community take shape.  There is so much potential on this platform.

Where do I go from here?  I'm not sure.  I've been encouraged to do it again.  I need to have something to talk about, otherwise I will just be awkwardly looking into the camera or making weird faces.  Maybe people would show up for that, who knows. ;)  Other scopers seem to have such grasp in their intent.  What authority am I of on anything?  Seriously, I feel inadequate to mediocre most of the time, what could I possibly offer?  Yet, I'm compelled to do it again.  You can check the replay here until 9pm Wednesday the 21st.  I would love some feed back. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

7QT: Kids, Crafts, and Periscope

It has been too long since the last time I linked up for the 7 Quick Takes.  Actually, I think Jen was hosting the last time.  Now it is hosted by Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum.  She's awesome, go check her and other quick takers.


This week, I take that back, the last three weeks have been tough.  Everyone's attitudes, self included, have been less than stellar.  Lots of crying.  Lots of fighting.  Lots yelling.  Lots of tude.  How we are going to reign it in?  Not sure yet.  In the heat of WWIII Lockhart style, I took time to find the good in our home.  And of course prayed.  It helped, but it did not bring peace into the home, yet.  We are just having some growing pains, a mobile one year old, an spirited, demanding almost three year old. and two independent school agers.  The independence I don't mind execpt they try to do everything on their own, and I'm not always in the know.  Things seem a little wild, and I am sure I'm not making the best in the moment parenting choices.

Simon is killin' me! (joy)

Aren't they just the cutest!?!


Chris began flying this week.  It has changed the flow of our home slightly, which surely contributed to this rocky week.  But we are thrilled.  The kids were so excited too.  Amelia even remembered to ask him how his first day was without any prompting.  She's such a sweet girl that doesn't get nearly the credit she deserves sometimes.  Anyway, his flight schedule will change each week so that will be interesting.  It is worth it.


I have been crafting a bit over here.  Last year I started a Halloween wreath for our door.  After an hour I became frustrated with the mesh and left it alone.  After Chris pulled out the Halloween decoration, he asked (several times) if I was going to finish it.  So one evening I took it apart and finished it.  I'm happy with.  I have thought about adding some spiders or letters to spell out BOO.  But I don't know.  Maybe next year. :)  


Simon Peter from last year's Easter swap.

(Really trying to stretch these takes) I've mentioned the Catholic Saint Peg Doll Swap a few times.  I'm in the thick of a few swaps.  The deadlines are approaching, and I have got to get them done.  A couple of moms had to drop out so I added to what I had already signed up for.  Not a huge deal, but I keep thinking one of the deadlines is 13 days later than it actually is.  It's ok though.  This weekend is going to be full of painting wisemen.  30 of them to be exact.  These Nativity sets are going to be really cute.  The next swap I will be hosting.  It's an Easter swap.  Last year I painted Simon Peter.  This year I'm not sure.  I will probably let spots fill up and take the spot to complete the group.  


I have always enjoyed personality test and the like.  The best is taking a test, reading the results and being "Yep, that's me".  Any personality test, I'll take it.  The ones that float through Facebook too.  You know, the four questions to figure out which U.S. President you're most like.  Your dream vacation, your favorite color, your dream job, and your favorites cereal will determine if you are most like Lincoln or Nixon.  The science is astounding. ;)  Seriously, I love the silly one, but the serious ones with some meat behind them are great.  The 5 Love Languages.  Apparently only two really matter to me, and the rest, eh.  Myers-Brigg is fun, too.  I took a free test to determine my MB type.  It's not recommended because the actual test is really thorough to type you properly.  But I did.  I'm sure that the free test nailed it (for me).  I'm an ENFP.  A flakey optimist.  Well, there is more to me than that, but I think that sums me up pretty well.  


I create a Facebook page for the blog.  I've been meaning to do it for a while, but I wasn't writing often enough.  So to give myself some accountability, I made the page.  Go ahead and "like" it if you like reading the blog. Or "like" it if you're feeling charitable, because I'm a train wreck over here most of the time.


Have you heard about Periscope?  Well, it's a live stream chat room, kinda.  There is a broadcaster (the live streamer) and then people can join the broadcast and chat using text.  If you miss a broadcaster's scope it stays on Periscope for 24 hours, so you can watch the replay.  Many businesses are using Periscope in really neat ways.  Others are using it to share their wisdom.  I watch lots of homeschooling scopes.  Experienced homeschoolers have been using the platform to share their knowledge.  I find the platform fascinating.  I have nothing to sell.  I don't have any wisdom to share.  I don't have anything interesting to say.  BUT I really want to try it out.  It would really satisfy the extrovertedness (probably not a word) if at least one person showed up.  I'm looking at you, Mom. ;) If you're interested and not on Periscope, it's a free app on iTunes or Android.  You can follow me, my handle is @LandofLockhart.

Tuesday October 20th

Ashley can tell you that I have been messaging her for weeks about Periscope/social media, but I have been nervous to just do it.  It is me being an ENFP and I curious about this new outlet.  I came up with the hashtag #stumblescopes because I feel klutzy in nearly every aspect of my life including social media.  I have said that I am mediocre to inadequate in everything I do, and the only thing that I am confident I can do is push a very large baby out of my body.  Just the pushing though.  The pregnancy and the parenting mediocre to inadequate.  I'm shocked I'm going through with it.  Ok, crazy long tangent. So, I'm not selling anything.  I have no wisdom to share.  And I'm not that interesting.  You should come anyway.  Have some wine or hot tea while make a fool of myself :) 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Finding The Joy

I am here this week doing anything but adulting.  Last week, I touched on finding joy in the mundane when I was thinking about what I had learned in the past ten years.  Yeah, the struggle is real.  The mundane is oh so heavy this week, and the joy is somewhere between screaming children, dirty dishes, chocolate pudding, diaper changes, crushed chips in my carpet, and Legos.  

A sibling did not take care of their trash.
Let me take a minute to find the joy.  ^^^that face!  Yes there was a mess, several messes, to clean up, but he is proud of his independence. 

There are so many beautiful things around us.  And beautiful moments like this happen all the time, if I take the time to notice them.  Capture them if I can.  Today Owen and Amelia were sitting on Owen's bed and looking at a book together.  We read together regularly, but my kids don't grab books on their own very often.  I wish I had a camera.  It was so sweet.

Chicken enchiladas!

Making a home cooked meal takes more time and work than something frozen.  It is easier on the wallet than going out.  Maybe not this meal, but home cooked meals are often healthier, too.  Doing the work before, during, and after dinner is always worth it.  I just don't always find the motivation and remember it's worth it.

Ornaments for the Jesse Tree Swap

I am one of the admins for the Catholic Saint Peg Doll Swap group on Facebook.  Carving out time to complete, and now host, these swaps isn't always easy.  The end result is always worth it.  My kids have learned so much because of these hand painted crafts. And the community is wonderful.

Morning Time
Getting back into a homeschooling groove has been so challenging.  We take one step forward, and then we take three steps back.  It is not the kids.  It's me.  But Morning Time has really blessed our home.  The kids are starting to take to this portion of our day. Your Morning Basket is a phenomenal podcast hosted by my friend Pam Barnhill.  And though it speaks to homeschooling families I truly believe that all families could benefit for starting a Morning Time.  It can be done in the evening. It doesn't have to be elaborate.  Ours isn't.  Seriously, check out the podcast.  I can always find joy in that part of our day.

October is my favorite month.  It is the essence of autumn.  80 degree weather doesn't really feel like fall, but the Halloween decorations are up.  The kids are thrilled.  Amelia's and Simon's birthdays are approaching.  Even though we are still in shorts it mostly feels like October.

The monotony is not going away.  It still must be done.  Thank you for letting me take a moment pull my head out of the trenches and appreciate the present.  Where are you finding your joy?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

10 Thing I've Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

Because I'm just full of words this week.  And because it's the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.  And it just so happens to by Chris and my 10 year wedding anniversary.  I figure, new post.

10 Things I Have Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

10 years is a long time, but I would hardly call us veterans in marriage.  It really doesn't feel that long ago.  But here we are.  Surely there is some wisdom that I have stumbled upon the past decade.

1. Marriage can be hard, but I make it harder. 
When things are a bit rocky often it is because we are getting in our own way.  We put up roadblocks, and our communication begins to suffer.  Learning which battles are worth fighting, or better yet discussing has taken some time.  Remaining charitable in my tone and approach can go a long way.

I was trying to put his ring on the wrong hand.

2. Laugh together.
I love nothing more than a good laugh.  Maybe it's the serotonin.  Over the years I have told Chris that I'm the funny one and he's the pretty one.  But he makes me laugh all the time.  He's got it all looks and a sense of humor.  Of the two of us I'm definitely louder including my laugh.  So when I am able to get Chris really laughing, not just chuckle my heart swells. I'm not sure if he has an opinion about laughter how it strengthens our relationship, but I think it does.  About a month ago, Amelia was able to make Chris laugh unexpectedly.  The kids and Chris were playfully giving each other lip (no disrespect, all in good fun).  She had her hip cocked, shaking her head saying "I'm not going to call you Dad anymore."  I asked her what is she going to call him.  Without skipping a beat, she put her hand on her hip and said, "Mr. Pig".  She was so serious, and we thought we were going to get lots of "uh, uh" so Chris and I started rolling.  I don't think any of the kids could pin point what was so funny, but they saw the joy that came from us and most definitely him (because he's not as loud as me).  The room felt so full of love in that moment.  It is a moment I will cherish.

3. Prayer
Pray for your spouse. This vocation. This sacrament.  It is not about you.  It is about getting each other to Heaven.  So pray and pray often.

4. God's plan is better than our plan
Whenever we get in the way of God, things become drastically more difficult.  I will add that even God's plan isn't always a cake walk because we have our cross to bear, but it is a different kind of struggle and far fewer graces when we try to make things happen according to our plan.  I tell this story often.  You've probably heard it.  The first time Chris put in a flight packet I was devastated that it didn't go our way.  I'm sure I cried for a few days.  Flying has been the goal our entire relationship.  Leading up to the board it seemed like it was going to happen.  Then it didn't. I wasn't angry with God, but disappointed. Fast forward to now and in retrospect now is much better timing.  The aircraft Chris would have chosen has been retired.  He could have been out of a job.  And there is an incredible homeschooling community here.  I am learning so much from them.  If he would have been selected the first time I wouldn't have looked for them.  My kids would have been younger, and I wouldn't have felt the need to look.  Chris and I are so grateful that God forced us to wait. I'm even grateful for the pain.  I think I'm more humble because of it.

5. You must serve and expect nothing in return
Chris is so good at this, guys!  He really knows how to serve his family without complaint.  To the point that I will become annoyed when certain things he usually takes care of are unfinished.  I have had to talk my self down a few times over the trash which is just silly.  But doing it myself, or just simply asking for his help works much better.  Nothing is 50/50. It can't be.  So don't even try to keep score.  Unconditional love is just that.  We do things out of love, not for the "I owe ya one."  Ask for help if you want it, and give help if it is asked of you. Be charitable.

6. Be Submissive
Of course I don't mean that he owns me or I must hang on his every word, but I am starting to learn when I need to be more docile and let Chris lead.  God speaks to us through our husbands.  We have to be quiet so we can hear it.  For the most part, Chris is pretty laid back about most anything I do or don't do.  The kids are a different story :).  So when he has a concern, or wants things to head in a different direction I shouldn't brush him off and do what I want to do.  I do so much dictating and decision making with the kids that it sometimes bleeds into our marriage.  I have to be mindful of that.  He is the head of this house, and sometime his word has to be the final word because it's His word.

7. Find the joy in the mundane
I am still learning this.  I'm not very good at finding the joy; I usually just hide from adulting or wallowing in my own shortcomings.  It is a major flaw of mine.  The day to day work and the monotony can be so painful to overcome and complete.  I know that stems from my personality type, but I'm also not very good at the day to day work that must be done.  Chris has very little to say about the quality of  my work, but he does notice the effort. Fulfilling the mundane with great love is notice by God, my children, and my husband, and hopefully will help get us all to Heaven.

8. Know your weaknesses
We all have them.  Our husbands too.  It's okay.  Do not exploit each other's weaknesses.  Accept them and be a team.  Keep your expectations reasonable. I'm not naturally organized and tidy even though I desperately wish I was.  And any skills I had before kids is almost gone. Chris doesn't hold that against me.  He accepts my efforts, and I try to do the same for him.  Taking the time to strengthen my weaknesses is necessary too.

9. Work to your strengths
Determine what you are good at and use it to strengthen your marriage.  Figure out what your husband's strengths are and foster them.  Encourage him.  We all have God given talents and we should be using them.  Our domestic monastery is a great place to start.  I am on a quest in discovering my (and other's) talents, but that will be another post.  But I think we should be actively using our strengths, talents, and gifts to support our marriage.

10. Know your needs
Here's an example.  I'm an extrovert, and Chris is an introvert.  Those qualities alone make our needs different from one another.  Over the past few years I done my best to learn his limits.  He needs time alone to recharge.  I have to give him that space, and not let my feelings hurt that he needs to take that time.  He knows that I need to be around people.  The kids help, but at a certain point I need my social interaction to come from another adult.  He will let me make small talk in the fellowship hall after church, or he will attend a social occasion without grumbling.  I've also tried to become creative to meet my social need by using social media.  It isn't the same as sitting in a room with someone, but Periscope is pretty close ;).

I'm no expert, and our marriage isn't perfect, but I think it's good.  Chris may not agree with this list.  I will soon find out since he's proof reading this post for me.  The last 10 years have been wonderful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stumbling through Nature

I have several posts started and saved and unpublished.  I get so much typed out, and it is not what I had intended to share.  My brain is currently flooded with so many things that I'm more scattered than usual.  So before I get off topic and away from the intent of this post I will just get it started.


We are trying to implement nature studies into our school days.  For the most part the outdoors is not my thing; I don't like being hot, attacked by bugs, or being wet (unless I'm at the pool).  I'm also not very knowledgeable, but exposing my kids to the outdoors is important.  Our backyard is not full of hidden wonders other than the clover that have taken over.  Did you see my IG?  Intentionally letting them explore never crossed my mind as something to do as a family until lately while studying of education philosophies.  Actually it was other people's ideas that I have just adopted.  Since we started school, we have gone on a few nature walks where we specifically try to absorb the world we live in.  Regardless as to how awkward it may be.

Yesterday, we hit the trails that Chris sometimes has to run for PT.  Kinda woodsie.  I brought a bag to collect things for us to examine more closely later.  It wasn't too long into the walk that Simon gave up by laying in the middle of the trail.  Chris picked him up.  Luckily he was not carried the whole time, but we probably should have taken his peaceful protest as a sign.  At one point we had to choose the long or the short trail...we choose the long trail.  We found lots of great things, but 2.3 miles was probably a little more than the little Lockhart legs could handle.

I accidentally stepped in a fire ant hill (attacked by bugs!), but the kids got to see the ants come out and protect their eggs. Silver-lining?  Chris knew some of the plants' names and how they can be used should they need to make a rope.  He found yucca plants which can be eaten.  Amelia and Simon tried the plant yesterday and Owen got the nerve this morning.

The little white things are eggs.

Chewing on a yucca plant.

He tried it too.

A day later.

We observed some really beautiful things yesterday.

This morning I laid out what we collected so we could take a closer look.  While I did that, the kids recalled what they saw yesterday.  They even remembered some of the facts that Chris shared with them.  Owen pulled out the nature journals so everyone could draw some of their observations.  I was so pleased with their efforts.

The things we gathered.

The cypress tree branch had as strong delightful smell.

This sassafras root smelled like licorice.


Sorry for the picture overload, but I'm really happy with the whole process.  It felt a little forced in the beginning, but at some point it was no longer awkward and the whole experience was very organic.  Other than exhaustion toward the end of our 2.3 mile walk, there wasn't any complaining just enjoying time spent together and taking in the world around us.