How was your week-end? My highlights have been treating myself to a ten-minute facial mask in the shower on Saturday, getting my nails done (a $5 box of fake nails from Wal-Mart = all I can afford) and taking the time to shave my legs. (Is that a treat for anyone else?) We also had our first snow this week-end! Lots and lots of it!
Such a restful week-end has left me recharged and rejuvenated to tackle some new things that I can't wait to share with you this week. So, without further adieu...
The real post
After saying good-bye to our foster son a week and a half ago, it feels like our life has changed enormously. In all reality, it has morphed back into what it used to be... but it feels different.
One thing I really enjoyed during those 7 weeks, and even the months of preparation leading up to his arrival, was how focused we were on a specific reason for living. Each day was planned out and had purpose with specific goals, all the way down to when and how I cleaned and the types of words I used to describe certain things. If it wasn't planned that way, then we achieved so much less in our relationship with our foster son and in dealing with his specific needs. Without that plan, all hell was very likely to break loose on any given day.
The pressure in that situation was not something I enjoyed, but since he has gone, I have sincerely missed the ability to have such a great focus- such a specific plan. The type of plan where you never even wonder if you should be deviating from it. You just know that you have to keep marching forward without looking to the right or left, without looking backward.
Now that he is gone and life is no longer a daily crisis, it is much harder to stay motivated toward a goal each day. My husband and I know that our purpose is to give God glory in all things. We know that part of our plan is to have a family life that honors God in how we are married and how we raise our daughter, but that idea is still rather open ended. Wanting to give God glory doesn't exactly tell you what to do when you get out of bed on Monday morning, you know what I mean? This is especially difficult if you are like me and are very externally motivated.
In the last couple of weeks, "you have to make a plan" is a theme I keep bumping into in the voices of people around me and through the blogs I'm reading. In my heart, I feel like Someone is trying to tell me something... So last week my wonderful hubby allowed me some soul searching time to go to Barnes and Noble while he took care of the little one. While drinking coffee and doodling in a notebook, I tried to wrap my head around some things in life that I felt needed a more specific plan.
Here is what I came up with...
- Grocery Shopping- Doing this on Monday mornings (like I described here) has been working out really well. I'm going to continue making this a regular thing.
- Detail Cleaning- As I mentioned before, finding time to do what Fly Lady would call a "weekly home blessing" (bathroom cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, etc) has been difficult for me- especially since I really don't like doing it! While our foster son lived with us we had someone come do these things once a week while I grocery shopped which was amazing, but she is no longer able to help us and we are not really able to pay anyone anymore. I know I should try to do this in small little time pieces throughout the week, but if I don't do it all at once every week, it will honestly never get done. So I have come up with this solution. Mondays after Christian gets home from work is going to be Daddy-Daughter time so I can clean without the Melody underfoot. I'm not sure why I never thought of Christian watching Melody so I can get this done before, but I'm glad I have now!
- Date Night- Monday's watching The Voice... this may not seem exciting to you, but it is our idea of an extremely good time!
- Writing & Blog Time - I am giving myself permission to pursue writing more. I will be able to do this during Melody's naps and during the evenings we don't have other things scheduled (usually twice a week ish). This includes once a week planning time to help me stay focused on what topics I will be writing about and when I will be working on them.
- Have a Regular Bed Time (about 10pm)- I am so bad at implementing this (as evidenced by the fact that I am working on this post at 2 am), but need this structure so much. Getting enough sleep is something I really need to be doing for myself. Going to bed a little earlier will give me time to read and wind down before bed which helps me fall asleep more easily.
- Use my monthly planner- I love using a monthly planner even more than a weekly planner. Writing things down in it makes me more aware of what is going on in my life, when things need to be done and keeps me from getting over scheduled/committed.
I know from the surface these plans may seem arbitrary, but these simple things are what make up my life: loving my husband, caring for my family and my home (i.e. cleaning), using my creative talents and taking care of myself. When these things don't function well, I don't feel any good at being me. Just knowing I have guidelines in place for taking care of some of the more important aspects of my life allows me to feel peaceful... no, scrath that... Having guidelines makes me feel Peaceful -with a capital P- as in I am aligned with God's plan for my life. Having the basic things down gives me enough room for margin that when unexpected things are thrown our way, maybe we can, with His help, catch them gracefully. Being in that kind of state is a gift that not every family gets, but as long as we can that is the kind of place I want to strive to stay in as a family. Content in the day to day, with room to handle the unexpected.
Happy Monday everyone!