Television, tablets, laptops, personal computers, and smart phones are everywhere you turn. We use them for work, for school, to connect, to disconnect, to relax, to learn, to shop, to play, to entertain, to interact, and pretty much every way imaginable. It’s difficult for most of us to imagine life without these screens.
About a month ago my nine-year-old daughter, Estella, expressed that she had been feeling a little neglected. At first, I was a little exasperated because I work really hard to make sure that I pay attention to each of my five children. But, as I thought about it a little more, I realized that although I talk to them, hold them, teach them, and take care of them all day long, they very rarely get one-on-one time with me.
Anger is easy. So easy. Shouting, pouting, stomping, it’s amazing how little effort those things actually take. I remember when I was a child, people would invariably say, “It takes more muscles to pout than it does to smile.” Well, nevertheless, I’m pretty sure most of us haven’t shied away from flexing those suckers.
Anger is easy.
**This post is being published almost a month late! :-/ Our first month of homeschooling really threw my schedule off! I’m hoping to get back into a groove now!**
In my last two posts I shared my planning and organizational woes and ideas. This is an area I feel like I particularly struggle with, mainly because *whines* keeping track of seven people, their stuff and their lives in general is hard.
But! Don’t feel sorry for me. I signed up for it. At some point. Without knowing what I was doing/getting myself into.
Okay, seriously. One of the super great things about my life is that I have a VERY smart “Other Momma” (see my post How God Can Use My Brokenness for a description of an “Other Momma”), and she raised and homeschooled seven children. And she still likes them and they her. SO, when I am lost, I go to her for advice.
When I realized how very much our day needed a schedule I went to her and asked what her schedule looked like when her children were young. The following has been an inspiration and encouragement to me, and I hope it is for you as well:
Continue reading Unofficial Official Schedule from the Unofficial Official
In my last post (Planning and Organizing and Getting All My Ducks in a Row, Part 1) I shared what a typical day looks like for me. I shared that I would like a better organized, planned, and intentional life. I don’t live in a complete dump, or in complete chaos, but I could sure stand to change some things. Basically, I need to get all my ducks in a row. Grab those wandering little suckers and put them in their place.
So, in the spirit of lining up ducks, behold some of my thoughts on organization:
First of all, let me be clear about what this blog post is not. This is not a well thought out list of organizational methods. It is not a “listicle” (what an awful word) of “life hacks”. I’m not the expert. I really don’t know much of anything. And that leads me to what this post is.
It is a way to start a conversation about the reality of intentional living. Maybe some people put a system in place in their lives and there it stays until the end of time. For me and my family it seems like our schedules and plans are an ever-evolving system that can still use a considerable amount of work. I’d like to get better about this, again, to have more stability. But I’d also like to be honest about how difficult this is for us.
“Use your time wisely.”
“Make the most of the moments.”
“Plan, organize, declutter.”
Do you feel convicted yet? Maybe a little guilty? Possibly like you aren’t ever going to measure up or get it together? Okay, whew, I’m not the only one.
I have the best intentions. I want to use my time wisely, especially after a recent lesson in the importance of this concept! I definitely want to make the most of my moments. And I would LOVE for my day to be planned, and my house to be organized and decluttered. I want my ducks all in a neat little row.
But. Can you believe it? Things don’t always work out that way. Here’s how a typical day goes for me:
I like to tell people that I was born to be a momma. I don’t mean it in the arrogant “look how amazing of a mother I am” kind of way that it sounds. I don’t think I am some Mary Poppins/Betty Crocker/June Cleaver miracle among mothers. I don’t pretend to think that I don’t mess up the Mom-gig daily. Hourly. It’s actually appalling how much I still mess up. But man do I love my kids and being their mom. Even the parts of parenting that I dislike, I actually love. Don’t ask me how that makes sense, I don’t know. But I know that every part of me loves being a momma.
A friend posted this on her Facebook last night:
I really identified with it, which made me want to write about it, since that is how I process and communicate best. Talk about “raw”, this post is going to be raw. Bear with me while I work it out, and then speak up and tell me what you think.
I am lonely. Which is strange, because I am always surrounded by people. Small, not-quite-grown people mostly, but people.
I know that human interaction does not quite fill that loneliness, no matter how hard I try, and it never will. Christ alone will completely fill that hole. But I still want the human interaction.
Okay, listen to this…
In May I broke my right pinky toe. I was in a big hurry to get some cleaning done before my brand new baby (darling Ransom, born March 4th) needed me again. I strode purposefully through my room, into my closet, and just clipped that toe on the wall on the way in. I heard it break, which, honestly, may have been the worst part.
Broken pinky toes are NO fun. They constantly remind you that you are considerably more delicate than you think. Also, three year olds do not understand, or care, maybe, what “Mommy has a broken toe” means. They think maybe it means step on it to see if Mommy screams. Or poke it 500 times while repeating, “Does this hurt?”
But, it’s not that big of a deal. They don’t require much care and they heal pretty quickly. Before I knew it, a week had gone by and I was feeling pretty normal again. I just took extra care when putting on my shoe, or walking around that darling aforementioned three-year-old (my sweet Eva).
No big deal.
Until I got a stress fracture in the middle of the same foot. How frustrating! Before the broken toe, I was trying to get into shape, and was ever so diligently working out to a Jillian Michaels video. So, as soon as I felt my toe had healed enough, I got right back on that horse. You know, two-and-a-half months after I had my (fifth!) baby. At 35 years old. While still carrying the majority of my baby weight. Right after I had broken a toe. Suddenly this is not sounding like as good an idea as it did after I got on the scale and prompted that frenzy of baby-weight-ditching exercise.
*I hope that you read this with an open mind, more specifically a mind open seeking the highest Truth. I don’t know much and what I’ve written here is just one woman’s opinion. I welcome and encourage you all to share what you think. What do you think about authenticity? This blog exists to start conversations, so conversate!
**I can make up words like “conversate” if I want. 😉
***Authenticity does not always share the sad and tragic, but I did focus on that aspect a little more in this post. Can you all share others ways you are authentic? A dear friend, momma, mentor of mine shared that it is definitely easier for her to be authentically joyful. I think even that might be difficult for some. What do you think?
A village of women begins with one moment of connection and solidarity. In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis said it best, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
Those moments depend on authenticity. If we cannot truly bear our souls to one another, we have no hope of meaningful and fruitful relationships. Relationships without authenticity ring hollow and false; they are the white washed tombs of society. Continue reading Eviserate