Things are finally slowing down a bit around here. We are finding a new rhythm with school being back in session and its really going great. Our home feels peaceful and I feel as though I am 95% better. I am so close to full recovery, I can feel it and the growth I have experienced during these last 10 months is tremendous.
I have SO MANY things that I want to share with all of you, literally a list that is a page long of different posts to write up, but I really felt that this post was going to hit home with some mama’s and so I decided to start with it first. I have written so many times on the importance of me time, my inability to relax and mom guilt over when its okay for me to take time for me.
After a reversion to panic after a stressful couple of days a few weeks back, I decided that I needed to actively take time for me, and allowing myself to relax and enjoy time by myself has been the most freeing feeling. When my heart is peaceful, my home is peaceful. So I began browsing around Pinterest and looking in some of my mom books for different ideas on what to do. As I have mentioned before – I have an incredibly hard time relaxing. Sitting and watching TV is pretty much out of the question for me, because about 15 minutes in I will begin looking for something else to do while watching (and a lot of the times it is eating…ugh).
I also, due to our schedule as well as having so many littles, am not in a season of life that allows me opportunity to leave the house all the time and become refreshed that way. But, I have found a few things to do at home that I have incorporated to my busy schedule and they have truly made all the difference.
So, here are some practical things that I am doing to refresh my soul:
1. Spending time in the Word: I know that it goes without saying that reading God’s word is soul filling. God desires us to bury scripture deep in our heart, and He also uses it to reveal to us careful instruction on how to stay on the path He intended for us. But, knowing that I should read it more often, and actually making time to do it are two different things. On the days that I purpose to get up on time and ensure that I have that time with the Lord, alone, are days that are so much easier. I encourage you to find a time that works best for you and try to spend time with God as often as you can. As moms, things will come up, kids will be awake all night, we will be tired, sick, and overwhelmed, so don’t pressure yourself to have a ritual or reprimand yourself if you miss a day. God doesn’t desire perfection, He just desires you.
2. Creating beauty throughout my home: For the longest time I used to always say things like “I will have a clean house when the kids are older” or “I can light candles and buy pretty flowers when the kids aren’t so little anymore.” Of course I desire and always try to have a kid friendly and safe home, but what I have realized is that that does not mean that I can’t have a beautiful home either. I have rearranged furniture more to my liking, begun organizing more so that it takes less time to clean up and have begun creating some new decorations for our home. In addition, I asked my husband if he could begin regularly buying me flowers (because who wants to buy flowers for themselves!) so that I could always have a fresh bouquet on the table and I have begun lighting candles in the dining room during various times of the day – naptime, after school snack time, at dinner and immediately after the girls go to bed. Its amazing what the smallest flicker of a candle and the scent of the melting wax can do for my overwhelmed soul at the end of the day. Do I still have to do the dishes and pick up? Of course, but it instantly sets a different tone in the room.
3. Scheduling one or two nights a week to do something that I enjoy in the evening: Most week nights the house is quiet by 8:30 and I begin my evening cleaning routine in an effort to start the next day with a clean slate. But, I have been forgoing some of the evening chores a couple nights a week to replace it with time to just relax. Currently, I am alternating between taking an hour long detox bath before bed on these nights, or working on painting projects for the house that can’t be done when the girls are awake. Both of these things bring me joy and I find them worth the cost of waking up to a few dirty dishes.
4. Journaling/Writing: I am normally a pretty open book. This blog generally serves as an open journal for me to document happenings in my life, as well as my thoughts. However, I am finding that by also returning to regular schedule of journaling that I am truly seeing progress in my recovery and growth. There is something to be said about writing out everything you are thinking and feeling, without holding back. For me, it centers me, helps me to reveal desires and solve problems and offers an additional source of communication with the Lord.
God wants us to rest in Him, and we are infinitely more important to Him than our children are to us. We go to great lengths to ensure that our children have adequate rest, we encourage our husbands to seek out passions and hobbies outside of work, but we become accustomed to giving all of our time away to everyone else. So today I encourage you to find a way to rest, take a bath, a nap, go for a walk, read a book and leave those dishes for tomorrow.