One of my most important ministries is to love my children. I’m learning to love them by adjusting to the new season of life they are in…as my daughter hormonally into adulthood, as my eldest son navigates his sophomore year of high school, as my 4-year old’s vocabulary suddenly blooms and I’m answering questions about God and life after death (of a pet). I’m learning to become more of a coach or advisor who helps my children manage and learn from the consequences of their actions, both positive and negative.
If I’m cold, I am useless. Subconsciously I’ve always known this. But there was a day early this month when I was trying to write at Starbucks and I couldn’t think or focus because it was FRE-E-ZING. I have learned which coffee shops and restaurants are unreasonably cold, but I opt to sit out on the patio regardless.
Knowing what’s for dinner makes the day better. I’ve been trying out Green Chef , a food service that delivers pre-measured ingredients and recipes to your door each week. I chose the three meal paleo plan for four people (which is plenty of food for our family of six) and have loved making those meals at the end of the day. Even the teens join me in the kitchen, zesting, chopping, measuring, etc. If you’re interested to try it out, you can use this link to get 4 FREE meals.
Life is too short to hold grudges. Plus, holding a grudge is like holding a 1,000-pound anchor while trying to swim. Swim in God’s grace and forgive people.
God is still there even when you aren’t experiencing all the feels. Faith is such a journey of ups and downs and I’ve learned again and again to recognize and acknowledge my feelings, but not to depend on them. This year has been a quiet one of continuing in daily practice of prayer and Bible reading and thankfulness and service without any of the tingly excitement of feeling His presence. I simply trust that He is there, out of a lifetime of listening and because he says he is. It reminds me of marriage. Some years are exciting and some years are just the daily work of building a relationship. Equally important.
I love my community. Most days, Pete and I have no trouble picking up the Littles from preschool, and later the Bigs from their after-school activities, but more so lately than not, I’ve had parent meetings or church functions overlap the pick-up times and God bless my fellow volleyball moms who are like “I got this! Go to your meeting and I’ll bring Bailey home later.” Angels, I tell ya!
It’s okay to take care of yourself a little bit. Sometimes as moms we put everyone else first and then we’re too tired to do anything to help ourselves. This year I added in being an author and I started to feel a little ragged between all the office work and the blog work and the mom work, so I figured out some little things to take the edge off. I’ve added in a yoga class once a week (like…JUST this week) to make me stretch and strengthen. This is about me breathing and getting quiet and talking to God in my head and thanking him for my body. I also dumbed down dinner and am serving easy foods and once a week we get to use paper plates and throw them away, because I need a break. I also watch Jimmy Fallon at night (DVRed from the night before because LATE) and I laugh my guts out and lay on the couch and eat popsicles and pet the dog. And occasionally, on a weekend I sit and read a book (well, okay, a few pages) and let everyone dart around me. I like to think that this models reading for fun to the kids (not sure they are convinced).
There is no magic bullet for balance and getting everything done. For months, I ran around going, “If we can just get this…” and ” We just have to make it to…” and then I realized that there is no magic bullet. There is no perfect rhythm. Every day we just work and juggle and sign forms and pack lunches and it’s an endless swirling dance, so figure out how to enjoy the chaos and celebrate when you remember stuff and don’t beat yourself up when you forget.
You don’t have to wear heels anymore if you don’t want to. My feet hurt and I broke up with heels. Oh happy day.