The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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The value of Doing Nothing February 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 11:04 am
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Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)

The value of doing nothing? In our world that is unheard of. Sometimes I feel like a hamster in a wheel–running to exhaustion all day long with nothing really to show for it at the end. I pick up toys and vacuum up the crumbs of snacks, work on the budget, read stories to my son while he sits on his little toddler toilet, change my nephew’s diapers, search for the toddler tunes cd that is always wandering off, fix lunch, work on sewing for my baby girl, pick up more toys and vacuum up more crumbs, run the dishwasher, do a load or two of laundry, stare forlornly at the to-do lists, answer e-mails, make the grocery list, clip coupons, try to get up the energy to drag the boys to the store with me so we can eat something more nutritious, clean up after accidents, etc. And at the end of the day, the house is still a wreck but I am exhausted.

Sometimes, it seems good to me just to take a page out of Winnie the Pooh’s book and realize the value of doing nothing. The other day, I just sat and did nothing while my son colored with abandon all over the wall of the dining room. I would have stopped him if it had been the couch, or if he had been using a marker. But, he was having fun and he didn’t need me to actively participate in this fun, and Mr. Clean (God bless the people who make Mr. Clean) makes a magic eraser that I believe is truly magical. So I didn’t stop my son even though I saw him coloring on the walls (and it’s not the first time I’ve made this decision either!), choosing instead to do nothing. To not bother. And it was a good moment. He was proud of his art work, pleased with his quiet coloring time and I felt much more rested.

I read in a mommy book the other night a woman’s account of her college roommate slamming a book closed after a long night of study and exclaiming,  “C+ works! Goodnight!” I am a first-born who has always believed I am supposed to make an A+ in everything. I can remember my dad’s disappointment when I made a 99 on an Indian long-house project in the seventh grade that he and I stayed up for two long nights finishing. It was beautiful. The teacher actually asked if she could keep it as an example to show future classes. But I forgot one tiny requirement on the instructions (a title for the project visible on the outside of it) and slapped on my project a hastily thought-out title scribbled on paper torn from my notebook and attached with scotch tape. So I lost one point out of a hundred. When my dad began to be angry with my teacher, it was terrible to have to tell him that the instructions were clear and I was the one who didn’t follow them. I felt like I let him down after he helped me so much with the project. He was pretty upset with me over that one point. (To be fair to my dad, though, he knew I could make a 100 on that project. When, in high school, I got in over my head in an honors physics class and brought home my only ever C grade, he didn’t say a word. He knew I had tried my best and just did not understand the math in that class.)

Anyway, I always expected to be an A+ homemaker. I thought I would be an overachiever as a mom. But the philosophy I’ve adopted over the last couple of years is this: A passing grade works. I will never get any awards for good housekeeping. But if my children are happy and I’m not losing my mind, who really cares if my house is barely passing? I don’t imagine anyone is actually grading me anyway. I don’t want to live in a trash heap and I do feel better if the house is clean. But for me, it’s enough if I can just go to bed with the toys off the floor and the dishes out of the sink. If I can get the laundry actually folded and put away, I feel like that takes me from a C to a B and I’m okay with that. I don’t imagine that Martha Stewart is going to show up to my house anytime soon with white gloves on to discover, in horror, that I haven’t dusted in an age. I’m sure our reputation will survive if someone drops by for an unexpected visit before I’ve erased my son’s artwork from the white walls.

Sometimes a passing grade is enough. Never underestimate the value of just Doing Nothing, of not bothering.


Let his thoughts return November 17, 2010

This idea filled him with fears and worries. But soon he let his thoughts return to the river, and as he lay there a whippoorwill began to sing on the opposite shore, darkness spread over the land, and Stuart dropped off to sleep. (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)

I have found a lot of little things to worry about today for some reason. But now I’m going to bed to read A River Runs Through It and drop off to sleep where it’s no worrying allowed. You know, both Stuart Little and Winnie the Pooh have made the connection between rivers and letting go of worries and fears. There must be something to the idea because those are two of the wisest creatures in literature.


The idea of being Useful August 5, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 10:40 pm

Piglet was so excited at the idea of being Useful that he forgot to be frightened any more. (from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)


a little Anxious July 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 1:24 pm
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“It’s a little Anxious,” he said to himself, “to be a Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water.” (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)

I have felt like Piglet a few times, tiny and entirely surrounded by water. One time was when I was a part of a ministry that fell apart spectacularly because of sin. In one week I lost my job, several of myclosest friends, and a ministry that I felt passionately about. I allowed that time to completely defeat me in certain areas of my life. I shut down in worship and allowed fear of ministry to rob me of purpose for years. I did not discuss it with the other friends who were also going through it. In other words, I did not call on my Pooh, Rabbit, or Christopher Robin to help me. As a result, it has taken much longer than it should have done for me to pick myself up out of the pit and go one with life and ministry, to have the confidence to use that episode for good when it was meant for harm.

Another time when I felt like Piglet was when I miscarried our first baby, April Baby, in October 2007. I could have just drowned in the sorrow of it and at times I really wanted to. But this time, I did call on my friends and family and they helped to put my feet on dry ground again. Solid ground. They prayed for me. They encouraged me. They reminded me to cling to the Friend and Comforter who could really help me. The one who said this:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.


The advantages of being disorderly, or, What a baby can teach a mama May 13, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 9:07 pm
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One of the advantages to being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)

I have a way that I like to do things. I have always thought my way was a pretty good way the right way. How many times in our first year of marriage did I tell my husband he was loading the dishwasher wrong, or mixing the pancakes wrong, or putting his seatbelt on out of order?! Oh, dear. We’ve come a long way. But never have we come as far before as we have come since the arrival of Benjamin.

Benjamin is a Pooh Bear through and through. He is sweet as honey, loving, loyal, hungry all the time, and a bit disorderly. Not totally disorderly, mind you. He has a healthy dose of his mama in him. He already likes certain things a certain way. But he’s disorderly in the way all little boys are. I have not been surprised by this. I expected it. I expected to clean up messes as a mama. I expected to have food on the floor and in my hair. I expected dirt under his fingernails and toenails. I even expected that he might try to eat a bug. What I did not expect was how much fun it can be to be disorderly. I simply didn’t see it coming.

Exciting discoveries are just everywhere! Today, I let him “help” me with the laundry. It took twice five times as long. I took the towels out of the washing machine and put them in a laundry basket. I tossed one or two washcloths into the open dryer. He watched me. Then he grinned and started picking up wet towels and pushing them into the dryer. I clapped for him. He clapped for himself. I was about to congratulate myself on starting this wonderful life skill so early. I thought, man will his future wife ever thank me!  Then he leaned into the dryer and started grabbing towels and washcloths out, dragging them around the room, and eventually putting them back into the basket. It took a long time to do the laundry today. But, gosh it was fun to watch him!

I have learned a lot from my son. I hope he will learn a lot from me. But I also hope he will make exciting discoveries throughout his life. I hope he won’t play it too safe. I hope he’ll be just a little disorderly from time to time, so he can remember the first lessons of life. Like how far you can launch corn from a spoon.


Two quotes April 13, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 8:58 am

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)

I did not post a quote yesterday due to a sick headache so here are two today. I hope that makes up for it! Winnie The Pooh is such a jolly one to fall back on when I don’t have time to dig around for new quotes.


Everything there is March 18, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 8:55 am

Sometimes if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known. (from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)


One of the advantages March 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:20 pm

One of the advantages to being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. (from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne)


Tubby January 26, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 4:57 pm
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A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. (from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)

Must get to the gym. Must get to the gym. Must get to the gym.


As much kindness as Roo January 20, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 3:03 pm
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Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo. (from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)