For the first workshop session on Friday night I attended Lorrie's "Dawdling, Diligence, or Distracted" session, and it was very eye-opening!
Guess what folks?
I'm a dawdler!!
With a side of distracted!
Lorrie defined dawdling as the deliberate act of wasting time instead of working. OOOO- that one stings! Guilty!! She went on to describe being distracted as allowing yourself to pay attention to things other than what you are supposed to be doing. Hmmm.... guilty again! I think that my days can too easily get overtaken by these two simple little concepts that can slowly, but surely, turn me into one unproductive little mama!
There is hope though! It's called diligence! Lorrie aptly referred to Colossians 3:23:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
Lorrie went on to make lot's of wonderful suggestions and applications as to how you can use your time more wisely, increase efficiency and help your children overcome these tendencies as well (okay, so I think the workshop was actually mostly aimed at helping your children, but I found it applied more to me!). For the full benefit, though, I would really encourage you to just hop over to her shop and pick up an MP3 or CD copy for yourself!
On Saturday I attended Lorrie's session on Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom, which was about overcoming weariness. Lorrie made it very clear that our homes should actually be building us up, nourishing, blessing and fulfilling us as we pour our work into them. That is a new concept for me, because as of late (okay, so actually since about the time I had Lion Cub last June) I have felt more like my home has been sucking the life out of me than nourishing me. I had everything so together and running smoothly before he was born, and since then I just haven't been able to muster the energy and motivation to make it all work well again. Sure, we have been surviving and maybe even learning some things along the way, but by no means would I say we have been thriving. Sadly. It has been a long battle (mixed with lots of hormones!) but one I am ready to be done with! After all, our hope is to have a large family- if things are ever going to work well with a larger brood then I had better get our life in order now!
That is where the great part comes in! Lorrie kindly reminded us all that we have the power to change! We are not stuck! We have the ability to get rid of what is weighing us down, and a lot of it relies on just doing what needs to be done (with a good attitude!) and worrying about how you feel about it later!
Wow! Are you feeling convicted? I know that I am!
Lorrie was great about giving some practical suggestions for making days more fruitful, not the least of which was gathering strength from the Lord, each and every day! Probably the most convicting for me, however, was "Wake Up!" Erg- most of you know how my Early Bird Challenge for this year has been going (or not going, rather). I really need to just do it and worry about how I feel about it later (which is usually something along the lines of "Seriously? Get up now after being woken up every hour by a restless baby last night?!"). I know it will change my days dramatically, though, if I just buckle down and do it!
Once again- there was just so much goodness in Lorrie's workshops that I really think you need to hear them for yourself! Her shop (TEACHersBookShoppe.com) is stalked full of wonderful books, e-books and audio messages for you (and me) to glean from! In fact, I was just telling my husband that I think a monthly TEACH allowance to learn all I can from this wonderful lady may very well be called for (he didn't disagree!)! Which brings me to the next part of my post:
BEYOND the CONFERENCE!
I only spoke to Lorrie for about a minute after her last workshop to inquire about one of her books (she mentioned a book of hers that talks about teaching your toddler to sit still on your lap during church! I need that!), but I see many similarities between Lorrie and I! She is an author and speaker (which I aspire to- someday- if the Lord wills!). She has a large family who she homeschools and disciples in the Lord. She sees the importance of leaving a written, tangible legacy for her children, their spouses and the generations to come (there is a little hint, hint into the top-secret blog project I have been dangling before you all for months!). She holds retreats for women at her beach getaway house numerous times throughout the year (something I have always wanted to do- but let's face it, if it ever happens it will probably be minus the beach house part!). Basically, I see Lorrie as the grown up version of ME- or what I hope and pray to be, anyway!
At the end of the conference I decided to take the plunge and order a year subscription to her magazine, TEACH. I was sure that it would be good, but had no idea just how good until I got home and started pawing through it! It is filled with goodness! And I am still just absorbing everything that the Summer 2008 back issue (that I received as a gift with purchase) has to offer, I haven't even gotten to the current issue yet!
I have been amazed as I skim the pages to find how many of TEACH's writers I am already familiar with, such as Marilyn Moll of Urban Homemaker, Cindy Rushton, and Jessie Hawkins of Vintage Remedies! Such solid women in the Lord who write wonderful articles that are completely pertinent to the homemaking way of life! Maybe, just maybe, someday I will be at a place where even I could have something to offer in an article for TEACH! (A girl can dream!) I am so looking forward to all of the issues to come and can already tell that I will be subscribing many years beyond the one I have already ordered!
Honestly, I think I could go to lunch with Lorrie Flem and talk for hours! I would probably pick her brain until she was dying for an escape route, but I just think that there is so much to learn from this kindhearted and wise woman who has obviously spent countless hours at the feet of Jesus! Let me tell you- her speech is seasoned with salt, and it is lovely to be around!
I am dearly hoping to be able to attend one of her Teach on the Beach retreats this year, to do just that! Possibly in the fall if she has one. Since seeing her impact after just this short home school conference, my husband seems very game to have me go as well! :-) Of course I would love to attend with some friends, be they online or IRL! Who's with me?!
By the way, I want to make it very clear that Lorrie Flem has in no way compensated or encouraged me to write these posts! They are just my honest, heartfelt opinions! And you can be fairly certain that this is not the last time that you will be hearing about Lorri Flem or the TEACH ministry on this humble little blog!