Friday, November 19, 2010

The Schedule

I have learned it's important to have some type of schedule in your life no matter what your personality is to keep you on track and focused. Otherwise, you might accomplish something but you might not. It's like that saying, "Aim at nothing and you'll hit it every time." I find it's easier to give into laziness when there is no direction for your day. I have had psycho schedules where I've designated every hour of every day. That one made me feel overwhelmed and if I didn't get to everything at the right time I'd just give up and try again the next day. What ended up happening was that after giving up for so many days in a row, I'd end up giving up for weeks at a time and completely forget what I was supposed to be doing. Another one I did was designate certain chores for certain days. That way I'd get at least one chore done a day. I liked that one, but in the busy seasons of life I began feeling overwhelmed again if I didn't stick to it. In the back of my mind I felt like I was behind at home and I don't like coming home from a busy day to a messy house.
Recently I've had no schedule. This seems like it's the best thing to do when you're schedule has filled itself up, but going from place to place doesn't make you feel like you've accomplished anything, at least not for me. After a few days of that I just feel tired and when I have down time, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing (no direction).
As I've been going through the book "A Woman After God's Own Heart," I've been challenged to be a hard worker, to plan my days and stick to it, and make up a new schedule. I think it's my most balanced schedule ever.
Sunday - Church in the morning and two life groups at our house (one in the afternoon and one at night, putting the boys to bed in between them). In between church and our life groups, we eat lunch, take naps, and clean the house for everyone to come over.
Monday - Clean the back of the house since the front was cleaned Sunday.
Tuesday - Go to the park or play outside. (I'm the kind of person who needs to schedule play time or I will work, work, work and never play or connect with my kids).
Wednesday - Laundry or floors. (I will only do one of those each week because they are both all day jobs). Actually I do laundry a couple of times a week, but Wednesday will be the day I finish all lingering laundry meaning folding and putting away.
Thursday - Outing to Metairie. (We go to to MOPS every other Thursday and I will try to only do my Metairie errands on this day instead of running the streets all week, which takes a lot of energy out of me).
Friday - Clean the front of the house so my Sunday cleaning won't be so much.
Saturday - Since this is Aaron's new day off, this will be the day we accomplish projects around the house or do a fun family outing.
This one was really easy for me to remember. I wrote each day on a small sheet of paper and wrote one word next to it so I could memorize it. I think if you have too much on your schedule, it will be easy to get overwhelmed like I did.
Aaron and I try our hardest to have at least one date night a week as well. Being in the restaurant business, that night stays flexible. And I say "at least one a week" because we keep our eyes pealed for any opportunity even if we've already had one that week because we might go two weeks without one and the next week we happen to be able to go on two or three dates that week. Really, Aaron is the one who manages this. He calls and says, "Hey wanna go out tonight?" He usually gets the sitter too, so I have to be ready and stay flexible. I have decided to go with the flow no matter how tired I am because it always refreshes me to connect with him.
So keep on working on your schedule to get the right one for you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Annual Gingerbread House Making

I started making a gingerbread house with Gabe when he was four. Judah
was two, so he helped a little. That year we bought one of those kits
with everything you need in it. The next year we bought a bigger house
and honestly it was all very stressful. I made the house as quick as I
could with both boys breathing down my neck and begging me to finish
so they could decorate it. If you don't let it dry, it keeps falling
apart. There wasn't much candy in the kits and all they wanted to do
was eat it! Of course that sounds normal, but I was worried that they
wouldn't have enough candy left over for the house.
After two years of stressing, I finally figured out how to do it
stress free. All you need is a box or two of the large Graham
crackers, a few different kinds of candy bags and sprinkles, a bag of
cookie decorating icing for each child (the kind that you can squirt
to make designs), and a good nap time. While they were all asleep, I
made three individual houses with plenty enough time for them to dry.
I portioned and set out all of the candy on individual plates. So as
soon as they woke up from their naps, their houses were ready and
stable. I did help them squeeze the icing, but they did everything
else themselves and just the way they liked it. And of course since we
bought bags of candy, there was plenty enough for them to eat!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

You're Only Two

I know you're so tired but you cry and tell me that you don't want to take a nap. I know it's because you're only two. Sometimes you seem so much older, but I have to remember you are only two. You love me and always want to be around me. Sometimes I don't like it, but then I think, "You won't be two forever." So I pick you up and you immediately quiet down. I feel your head heavily on my shoulder. Your feet wrapped around me, your arms dangling. I hear your breathing getting louder. I'm amazed how fast you fall asleep. I know I need to lay you down but I want to hold you a little bit longer because I remember that you are only two and you won't be two for much longer. I sit and try to lodge this sweet memory into my mind. Will I remember this moment? I lay you down and cover you up. You look like an angel. I'm glad you're still only two.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dark But Lovely

My biggest challenge in life right now is being a good mother. Of course I am concerned about their health, whether or not they are watching too much TV, and teaching them to use their manners. But my biggest fight is within ME. I have so much selfishness, pride, negativity, and laziness - sin. Most days it seems to consume me. It feels like there is a superhero movie that my boys are watching live going on within me. Is the Hero Spirit gonna win? or the Villain Flesh? By the end of most days, it seems as though the villain roared it's ugly head and won. How did it get so strong? How do I turn this around for God's glory and my good?
Totally humility and dependance on Christ. I must beat this. I must win. I must fight and not give up. The only hope I have is the cross. Sure I can use "anger management skills," but I know that's not the answer. The answer is me going in total desperation to the cross, offering all I have to offer (my sin) and somehow by His grace and goodness He exchanges it for His strength. And this strength isn't just being a little nicer to the boys. It has to be a complete exchange of my selfish heart for His love and humility. It happens first in the heart. Then the outward actions will follow. I must go to Him in desperation, begging Him to change my heart because I have no other hope of real change, nowhere else to turn.
I read a blog written by Dana Candler yesterday entitled "The Poverty of Parenting" that brought so much light to my darkness. She said that the hope of the cross is that we can go to our kids with our weakness and shortcomings and show them how greatly dependent on Jesus we are. Instead of minimizing our outbursts or just living with our guilt, we go to our children in confession and repentance. THAT is a fresh and living example of the gospel. Through me, they get to see salvation lived out for real, not just in theory. They will see my darkness. It's unavoidable. But they also get to see that in spite of me, He calls me lovely. My darkness for His deep love. I don't have to live a perfect life in front of them to convince them that they need a Savior. I just have to keep bringing my failures to the cross and my confession to them and they will see it for themselves.