Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm still here

As I was caring for the Little Miss I nanny for yesterday, I learned a very pertinent and timely lesson. She is only four months old and when no one is in her presence she thinks she is alone. I sat her in a play saucer that she loves and set her to amuse herself while I did a few dishes. She was right there in the kitchen with me and managed to get herself turned around in her seat and was no longer facing me. After a few minutes she began to fuss a bit. I turned around from the sink and said "Here I am baby! Here I am !" She quieted a bit but then began to fuss once more. I called to her again and turned her to face me."Just because you cannot see me Little Miss does not mean I am not here!"

Hmmmmm......indeed you say.

Isn't it the same way with our Creator, our Father?

Just because we cannot see Him doesn't mean He isn't there,

right there.

Just turn around and look behind you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

In Honor of my Racheli

This is my Racheli. She loves dragonflies and the color green, she loves music and to dance. She is a wonderful cook and can run a house. She is a poet and a tender heart. She is my right hand and personal assistant. She loves
G-d and His Holy Torah. She is my hero, the 'wind beneath my wings'.


Today is the 12th of Av and my oldest daughter Racheli turns 18 on the Hebrew calendar. On the regular calendar she has been 18 for over a week and a half. She is "chai" now, the numerical equivalent to the number 18 in Hebrew. 18=Chai=life.

Here is something interesting I found:

"The main thing that we can learn from 18, Chai, is the fulfillment of Torah and commandments (mitzvot), as in the verse, "V'chai bahem," "and you should live by them (mitzvot)." ... 18 (also) corresponds to the power of ratzon, ("will"), in the soul... The commandments of the Torah are the will of G-d. When a person performs a commandment, he gives G-d, as it were, nachat ruach, "pleasure," in that he performed G-d's will. Ratzon ("will") corresponds to Arich, which is also Arichut Yamim, ("long life"). This of course, corresponds to chai, 18. The long life alluded to here is in the merit of the commandments that the person performs."

It is amazing to think about this. When you become 18 you have life, a life to follow G-d, to walk in Torah. Not that you didn't prior to that but it is another level, deeper. You can do more and draw closer to Him. Eighteen is an age where you begin to really think about the future. College, family, spouses, travel, children, all seem to loom in the horizon. It is both an exciting and frightening point in life. It really is the beginning of adulthood. We do not hold by the "you are 18 now, go live your life" mentality, regardless of what the law or society says. Eighteen does not give you the magical right to run amuck or do whatever you feel like. I mean at my 30 something age I do not even have that right, do you? What is all this touted 'independence' anyway? But 18 does mean more responsibility, more expected, just like at any age. I remember when my Yaqov turned 18. I asked him what it meant to him. He told me he gets to vote now so there is responsibility in that. He can do more things without needing me to sign for it (ie. bank accounts). That made him more accountable, without the luxury of leaning on or waiting for Mama to get to it. I really enjoyed his answers. It didn't mean to him that he had to run and get his own place. It did not mean he had carte blanche to do as he pleased. It just meant he was growing up and with that came more responsibility.

As I look at my Racheli, I see such a beautiful woman in front on me. I see someone who always tries her best and always wants to please me. I see a woman who loves her G-d and wants to learn Torah. Last evening we were talking and she shared with me how so much makes sense to her now. Things I told her about friends and friendships, about clothing and modesty, about loving G-d and living a life of holiness. I felt humbled by what she shared with me and again wonder how I merited to have such a child. I am truly blessed.

"...our daughters are like cornerstones, crafted in palatial form...Praiseworthy is the people for whom this is so, praiseworthy is the people whose G-d is HaShem."

Psalm 144:12b, 15

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A silly song for baby

Greetings all!

Yesterday, as I was taking care of my little Miss, I made up this song for her. It is just a silly ditty that was birthed out of my saying to her "You are so yummy, so delicious! Just like a potato knish!" So here it is my songwriting debut I share with all of you, my homeschool comrades!

To the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy:

I like you better than a blintz,

Better than periogies,

I even like you better than a cheese and veggie hoagie!

You're so yummy, so delish, you're better than a potato knish!

You're so yummy, so delish, even better than gefilte fish!

I like you better than the cholent,

Better than a kugel,

I even like you better than a homemade cherry strudel!

You're so yummy, so delish, you're better than a potato knish!

You're so yummy, so delish, even better than gefilte fish!

So there you have it! My youngest asked "Why are you comparing her to food? You make it sound as if she is something to eat!" quoting Mrs. Harris of "Anne of Windy Poplars". I responded with a litany of food words we use as terms of affection in the English Language such as honey, pumpkin, dumpling, sweet pea, sweet potato, sugar plum, cookie, lamb chop etc. And this little neshameleh really is so yummy!

Oops, she is calling me!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sha'asani kirtzono

I want to share this thought from a taped shiuir that touched and blessed me so much yesterday. I pray it does the same for you. It was a talk to encourage women in our roles as women. She spoke on the some of the feminist self hatred and dissatisfaction with ourselves as women.

"We have to take ourselves to a point where we like ourselves well enough to be ourselves. The way that we can do this is through looking more seriously into G-d's Torah as a vehicle of channel. The way we can do this is by exploring what the Torah actually moves us towards because the purpose of this law was to be expressive of who we are. Until we learn to be self expressive, we'll never get past our dislike of ourselves."

We need not make apologies for being a woman.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Of laundry, mending and why I love lists

Greetings all,

Every day I make a to-do list. A list of those things that I would like to see or need to see accomplished. When I started writing lists, I wrote everything that I thought was important and needed to get done that day. The lists looked like insurmountable mountains to me, and they were. I just kept adding and adding to them until I had a full page of things to do and one day to do them in. In a strange way I thought the more I had to do the more productive I would be. As you can imagine, this list never got accomplished and I was not very productive. In fact the only thing that did get accomplished was an increasing sense of discouragement. I was an 'all or nothing' kind of gal. If it did not all get done in one day, or if I could not do it all in one shot, it just did not get done. I would look at my tasks and become paralyzed and overwhelmed by what I thought needed to be done. Now I say thought because much of this was in my own mind and of my own doing. Things I thought were important were not really that necessary and things that were important I would work around, crossing very trivial and miscellaneous items off my list instead of tackling this particular unsavory task.

As I have matured as a homemaker I have learned the list is not my enemy or my source of defeat. I have learned to use my list as a helper and not as a slave driver. Now in the morning I set small goals for myself and no more than six of them a day. This is very important so that I do not become discouraged and do not fall into 'build Rome in a day' mentality. I write down only realistic goals and things that really need to be accomplished on that given day. This took a bit of discipline on my part because for several days when I started to do this, I still did not get it all done, so I kept pushing it to the next day until the task was finally completed. I then learned to tackle big tasks in small bites.

For example, if I wanted to clean my room I would write:

day 1 bathroom

day 2 closet

day 3 dust and vacuum

day 4 dressers etc.

You get the picture. Each task takes 10-15 minutes to do and little by little it gets done. This has been an efficient and time saving way of getting my work done.

Which leads me to finally to the title of this blog. Today on my list was laundry and mending. Under mending I listed each item to be mended. I was so pleased I was able to get my laundry finished and all the machine mending done! What a thrill it was for me to be able to cross each of those items off. I set those goals and did them! They were small realistic goal that gave me a great deal of satisfaction!

I am sure. as I grow, I will become more efficient in my list and scheduling expertise but I wanted to share this part of my journey with you. I know this is something that all of us homemakers struggle with and I want to encourage you along your way. Be gentle with yourself and take it a little at a time, one day at a time. Let me know some of your list making and scheduling tips, I love to learn more!