Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tuesday's Time To (28th February)

Another beautifully balmy day - but with little sunshine. It is lovely to be able to get my laundry dry outside! Watching it blow on our small balcony makes me so happy! Papa Bear has rigged up 2 lines for me to maximise the space we have - it isn't really a balcony, but a walkway with a rail. It's nice to lean on, of a summer evening, and watch the world go by!

It's time for Tuesday's Time To! So here goes ...

A time to plant ... Papa Bear and I have been busy making a list of all the things we need to beg, buy or borrow, to get our "indoor garden" started. It's not going to be very extensive or complicated! We plan to grow chilli peppers (we all eat these, including our birds - did you know that birds don't produce saliva, so they can eat the hottest chillis with no problems! Well that's what I've heard, anyways!), plus basil, cilantro, parsley and carrot and turnip tops (these last for the birds). We thought we'd start small, and see how we go! Our apartment has huge wide windows, so there is plenty of light for plants to grow, but for the time being we will put all the plants in the kitchen where it is easier for me to keep an eye on.

A time to heal ... in our family, we use to suffer a great deal with ecezma (I am sure I haven't spelled that right!) until I changed what we used to wash with in the bath, and switched washing powder to Fairy. This, plus changing from (a much more expensive) fancy facewash to Dove soap, has pretty much eliminated ecezma for us. In fact we are all amazed at how much of a difference these 2 changes have made for us. The culprit? Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS). It is in a lot of products that froth - the ingredients should be listed on the bottle. If you have trouble with ecezma and haven't tried eliminating SLS from your toiletries, I suggest giving it a try - it has definitely worked for us!

A time to laugh ... I don't believe that as Christians, we should be serious and droll all the time. Obviously there are times when we should be solemn and show our reverence - at Church, for example (our Church doesn't encourage chatting, before the service, though afterwards it's welcomed!) or when in the company of people you don't know well, or who are your superiors. But we bears have a great sense of humour, and we love to laugh and joke and have fun - as long as it isn't at anyone else's expense! Smiling is good for you, and a joyful countenance that radiates God's love is a gift you can give anyone, for free.

A time to embrace ... I can remember my mam telling me that she had seen a sign somewhere that said "have you hugged your child today?" It is so important to make sure your children know they are loved. The right sort of love - not love misinterpreted as indulgence, absence of proper discipline or lack of boundaries - is a blessing to them which cherishes and nurtures them and helps them to grow into confident, caring and affectionate adults. I know this, because I made sure I hugged my cubs every day, right from the start (who doesn't want to hug a baby? They are just designed for hugs!) and they have grown up to be just this way - sweet and loving, just like their mama and papa.

A time to keep ... perhaps "save" would be a better word than "keep", this week! Papa Bear increased by half again, our food budget this week. He is such a generous and sensible husband! I am so lucky to have a husband that keeps our pennies so safe and helps us to stay out of debt! (Actually he has asked me to say that I help him too, because it's me that plans our menu - and I do help with his book keeping whenever he needs me to!). But when he handed me this week's money, I asked him if he would mind very much if when we did the supermarket shop, there was money left over. He said of course not - it would be wasteful to spend it just for the sake of it, and he trusts me to make wise decisions with the money and not to spend it carelessly just because I could - and then he said that it would be a wonderful thing if there was any left over, becuase he had a grand plan for it! He told me what it was, too! But I am not going to share just yet ... we'll wait and see what happens! I am a little bit excited about what he told me ... actually quite a LOT excited! But we must wait and see how much the bill at the supermarket is! He he! If there is any money left over, we will keep it to go towards our grand plan! All shall be revealed in good time!

A time to sew ... we've not ordered the 2 dress patterns or fabric that Papa Bear has picked out for me, just yet. Until the warmer weather comes, there is no point, because for at least another 3 months I shall be wearing the clothes I already have. We don't buy new clothes unless we actually need them. I keep the ones we do have, going nicely by doing repairs on them, when hems come down or holes appear. I also replace buttons - and in fact this is one great and inexpensive way to revamp garments, when you're starting to feel (as does often happen at this time of year) a little tired of wearing the same old things! You can pick up buttons for a few pennies each in most haberdashery shops, or for even less, in charity shops (sometimes a mixture of buttons looks great!). We have a button box where all the odd buttons go. It use to be a great source of entertainment for the cubs when they were wee (and quite educational, too, as we use to count them, sort them, divide them and such, without them ever realising they were learning!).

A time to speak ... last week Cubby had a BIG "time to speak" when he had to give a presentation for part of his college course (both the cubs attend the same college. In our country it is more common for young people to attend a college hundreds of miles away from home. Not for ours! They have both stayed right here at home with us - aren't we lucky! I am so proud and glad that they both decided they'd rather be here with us than go somewhere else and be among strangers). He was sooo worried about it, and worked really hard, staying up all hours and going to the library every day. And it paid off (what a wonderful lesson for him to learn) - he got a First, the highest mark awarded. Way to go, Cubs! We think you're GREAT!

A time to love ... as always, my family! I am so proud of them, and so happy to be the one that gets to take care of them all. I love them, and I love my life, taking care of them. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing, and I know that even when the cubs are grown and have families of their own, they'll never be too far away from us, and we'll have another generation of sweet bears to love and cherish!

A time of peace ... although the main focus of Lent is about regeneration and renewal, casting off old, bad habits and adopting new ones, to me it is also a time of peace - the calm before the storm - as we use this time before Passiontide to reflect on our lives, and the ways in which we can grow as God's servants. For me it is always a time when I want to spend more time meditating over God's word, and this in itself, brings great peace. I feel as if I am closer to Him now, than at any other time (for us, Easter is a far greater feast time than Christmas is, though we don't celebrate it anything like as openly as we do that festival). I think the rest of the family feels this way too - I heard Cubby playing praise music on his guitar again recently, and Papa Bear, who has never been a great reader of the Bible (he has dyslexia which makes reading anything quite effortful) has been doing Bible study with me, these last 3 days, which has been so beautiful. That is most definitely the most peaceful time of the day! And the most precious too.