My beautiful, wonderful sisters in Christ!!!
I have been thinking a LOT about resolutions and changes in my life. For me, new years is not a great time to make resolutions. First of all, there is no CHANGE at that point, no signal, save the calendar, to make a change.
For me, fall is the best time to make a change because there is a definite signal. The difference between December and January is not much here--both are mid winter. But the difference between August and September here is VERY much a change. August is green and rainy, with a few more warm days sometimes. September is cool, dry, and golden. The difference in the sun from August to September is also significant. In August, the sun was still up most of the day. In September, it is starting to get dark in the morning. The change in light is sudden and significant.
There is also hunting season. This allows me to have some down time with the babies while TWS (and sometimes little man) goes hunting. So for a week or two, I have nothing really asked of me. Supper can be popcorn if I want, because it is just me and Precious (she will have a burrito or something). I can stay up as late as I want, there is no schedule.
After a week or so of "freedom", I find that I long to get back into a routine. That is the PERFECT time to start turning over a new leaf or three! I have had a break from a hectic summer, the season is signalling change, the people around me are signalling change (back to school, end of vacations, etc). It is just a good time all around to start changes.
A couple of weeks ago, I had mentioned that my grandmother passed. I also think I mentioned a talk that TWS and I had had about how I was doing as a wife. I got praise and gentle suggestion fo what I can do to be better.
I wrote those down as he said them (both the good AND the changes I need to make), and made some decisions of my own. I am SUCH a project person, am interested in just about anything. But that means that I honestly do not have time to do all the things I want to do. It is simply not possible for me to clean house, homeschool, cook supper, bake bread, counsel a friend, write a book, paint a picture, crochet a sweater, shoot my bow, sew a dress, learn a new language, exercise, go on a field trip, do the laundry, write a cousin, post on my blog, snuggle my sweetie, watch the game, and paint my nails all in one day!
Now the problem with me and plans, is that I am overly ambitious and have very little organizational bent. So I have had a ton of plans and schedules but not stuck to them. This time I am actually praying BEFORE I work on things and letting the Lord lead my days. I have pared down my list of what I want to do, so I am not trying to do everything all in one day, and have put a few things on hold until a different time...maybe after Christmas or maybe in a couple of years.
I have my list of things that I am trying to work into my day, paring down the waste of time, and increasing the fruit of time. God willing, He will bless this list and make me fruitful!
Here is my list in no order per se, ('cept the Lord is always at the top!):
1) The Lord a priority--I do speak to the Lord often in the day. I do read my Bible, but I also get VERY lazy and start talking AT Him and not TO Him. I have been thinking of having standard prayer times. I am going to pray about it (hee hee--praying about praying just seems funny!). I also have a song that REALLY TRULY reminds me of Him, of His sacrifice. I get so caught up in my life, that I forget to just SIT AT HIS FEET and think about His sacrifice and salvation and blessings. I get anxious to go DO something, when the best thing I can do is just to sit for a bit and dwell in His presence.
2) Homeschool a priority--I am blessed with children and a curriculum that allows me to play bubble shooter all day if I want. Both the children and the curriculum are JUST that easy. However, the children are not getting the full benefit of homeschooling. They need field trips and projects, experiments (my fav!) and such. During those times where they are homeschooling, my goal is to be in the same room for most of the day, being proactive and setting up things they can do to enrich their experiences. When we have those days where they are just going to be doing work, my sewing machine is in the homeschool room, so i can work on that. The woodstove is also in the same room, so I can cook pancakes, fry bread, etc right there while they work!
3) TWS a priority--I am also blessed with a husband whom I really love and who really loves me. He is not perfect, neither am I. But he is my husband and deserves my respect and love and time. One of the things that he said that he wanted me to change was "timely taskers"....if he gave me a task, I need to do it immediately. I also need to be more sensitive when he needs to go into his "man cave" and decompress. His job is very stressful. In order to be the type of husband and father he wants to be, sometimes he needs to withdraw for a little bit in order to transition from "battleground work" to "home sanctuary". And I have also told him to let me know by making me look in his eyes when he wants to spend time with me and I am missing the cues. I get "task saturated" and tell him "Just one more minute...almost done...." for two hours!
4) House a priority--Frankly this is just my laziness. Starting with the "parlor mentality" (kitchen, living room, bathroom), I need to keep things clean and neat. I also am REALLY trying to stick with a menu (another thing TWS mentioned). Kinda cracks me up that I spent hours coming up with weekly menus, writing up a grocery list, went to the store.....and then we changed the very first meal to something other than what was on my list! hee hee!
5) Book-- Many years ago, I had panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, OCD and chronic anxiety. The Lord took me step by step through the sins that I was committing that enabled these. With His guidance, I was able to go from completely housebound, to able to jump on an airplane. I had long struggled with whether I should write this book. I would start, then stop. TWS told me to, but I was still hesitant (note: our husbands are the head of the household--we need to LISTEN!). The other day I was praying about it, again, and telling the Lord "Hey, whatever You want, just let me know". That very morning I had a message from a dear friend of mine asking if she could use a post I had made on the subject on a board. That was my signal that it was time to get serious about it.
6) Exercise. I would rather be beaten with a stick than exercise. I hate the way they keep changing how much you "should" do, I hate it when they say "Well, 8 hours a day of aerobic activity is ok....but you REALLY need to be doing 12...." (ok, that is a total exaggeration, but that is how I feel! lolol). But the other day I woke up and thought "I actually just feel like exercising today. NOT to be tiny, NOT out of "health guilt", but just because I wanted to do it. I PRAISE THE LORD for that healthy change in my thinking, because I have learned that the quickest way for me NOT to want to do something is to be told I HAVE to. lolol So, i am going to start exercising, on my time, in my way, for MY benefit. Not for guilt. Not for "have to". For the fun of stretching and moving and such. Besides I have Alton Brown cooking videos that I can watch while I exercise!
7) Misc projects--I have pared down my list of everything I ever wanted to do to these things that I will do now, with more to be added or dropped later. So, God willing, I am going to work on learning spanish, getting better on the dulcimer, sew more and learn to make more food from scratch (cheese is my next project!). I am also going to be painting. I am putting off a lot of interior decorating, instead focusing on making my house neat and tidy, ready for guest or project :-).
I want to have my chores done so that I can be ready for a friend who needs a shoulder, ready for a chat with my mom, ready for an unexpected guest. I want to be PROactive, not REactive. I mean, the laundry does get done, I wash the same pairs of socks, the same dresses and shirts every week. So why not have it done BEFORE people ask? If I am going to get it done on, say, Friday, why not adjust my thinking so that I get it done on Monday? The same amount of time will be spent washing clothing in a week, so why not be proactive and get it done?
Same with cooking. I am GOING to cook supper. So why not have a plan beforehand instead of waiting until 4 pm and being frantic? Either way we are going to eat. So why do I not just reduce stress and plan?
So really this is more of a change of thought, than a change of what I do. I am doing mostly the same things, paring down time wasters, and adding a few new things. But I am trying to be organized.
What about you? Is this a good time for you to think of changing your schedule in a big way? If you homeschool or if you have children who go to school, the schedule is changing anyway from summer. So maybe this is the perfect time to be "in for a dime, in for a dollar"! Maybe this is a good time to make New (school) Year's Resolutions!
Feel free to share what you are doing, what you have done, what you find works for you, and what you find your trouble spots are. Please take a moment and pray for every one of your sisters who need a little help in this area.....that is pretty much all of us! Please pray that God's will be done, that we each adjust to OUR family's individual needs! Each family will have different interests, different needs, but all families need less stress, more Lord, less clutter, more healthful behavior, less burden, more joy.
God bless you all!