Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.
What’s Going On At Our House This Week
It was a summer of adventure for us. Filled with lots of spontaneity, memories, late nights, family togetherness, and a really, really relaxed routine.
It was good. So good. An amazing change of pace! And soul-filling for all of us.
But I’ll be the first to admit that my organized and structured personality is ready for a good schedule for everyone again! And I’m pretty sure the kids are, too.
So I was okay that this past week marked “Back to School Week” for us — even though there were a lot of mixed emotions along with it!
Kathrynne started 7th grade by heading to camp with all the 7-12th graders from her school (see below for more on that!), Kaitlynn started her homeschool year (Jesse’s homeschooling her in the morning and I’m homeschooling her in the afternoon), and Silas started 2nd grade.
I can already tell that this working full-time, homeschooling part-time, plus being a wife and mom and friend, and trying to get enough sleep + exercise + breathing room is going to be an interesting adventure! But this first week went really well!
I’m still tweaking our schedule somewhat and experimenting with a few things and I think it will be a few more weeks before I land on the right routine for this season, but I’m very hopeful based upon how this first week went that this year is going to be much smoother and less exhausting than I expected.
One of the biggest changes I’ve made is to get my focused work done from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — I’m finding that’s when I’m freshest and most inspired and I get so much more done to work during my most ideal time versus waiting to start in on business work later in the day. Then, I’m focusing on homeschooling, time with the kids, and homemaking stuff in the afternoons. And then the evenings are reserved for chill time, hanging out as a family, exercise and reading.
What I Read Recently
What’s Been Saving My Sanity
Systems are the key to a mom’s sanity! One of our systems: having the kids pack their lunches, pack their backpacks, and lay out their outfits (including shoes) for the next day — before dinner.
It makes mornings SO much easier and laid back. No scrambling to find missing shoes or clean uniforms and no stressing over discovering we’re out of sandwich ingredients.
Plus, having the kids do it themselves and me just checking on it gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership — and saves me time and effort! What are one of YOUR systems that save your sanity?
What I’m Pondering
Kathrynne went to camp for 4 days this past week (her school kicks off 7th-12th grades with 4 days at camp).
This is the first time she’s ever done something like this (we’ve never done sleepovers) and I found that I was constantly wondering about her… Is she sleeping okay? Is she doing okay? Is her introverted self feeling people-d out? And on and on it went.
The point of parenting is to raise adults to be sent out into the world to make a difference. But sometimes, I’m not so fond of thinking of that whole “sending out” thing. I want to keep my babes close to me forever!
But this slow letting go and letting them experience the world and learning how to function without my help for a few days is a good thing for both of us. And it reminds me that ultimately, I’m not in control of my kids’ lives and decisions.
I can do my best to make sure they are loved and cared for and nurtured, but I need to release them and their lives to God. My babes are His first, not mine.
There is so much more joy and less stress in parenting when I rest in that.
What I’ve Been Thinking About
“Crystal, I feel like you’re getting more done than you ever have before and yet you’re working less.” This remark from one of my employees last week caught me off guard.
I hadn’t really stopped to think about it, but after he said that, I mulled it over and realized it was true. The more I thought about it, the more I realized why I’m so much more productive these days than I ever used to be.
It’s two things, actually: 1) I stopped finding my worth in what I did and accomplished and checked off my list. 2) I’ve given myself permission to make REST a big priority in my life.
And by rest, I don’t just mean getting enough sleep. I also mean taking time to do things that restore, recharge, and refresh me. Not just once a week, but (usually) every single day!
I’ve stopped waiting until I was exhausted to take time to rest and recharge. I’ve started making it a part of my regular lifestyle.
Yes, it takes time — time that I used to think I didn’t really have! But now I realize that taking time to rest and refuel is some of BEST spent time!
What I’m Learning
See those flowers? No, not the colorful roses. I’m talking about the white tissue paper flowers. They represent something really transformative in my heart.
You see, my Kaitlynn (10) painstakingly made them and splattered them with gold paint for an extra special touch. They are absolutely beautiful.
But for years, I didn’t see much beauty in her creations. I only saw the “messes” she made in her wake. (Which to creative hearts aren’t messes at all but spaces where beauty and life is being birthed!)
I missed out on so much beauty because I only saw the mess. I didn’t appreciate the way God had wired my daughter because I tried to stuff her into my neat and tidy box. All the while, I was inadvertently crushing her spirit.
Her soul needs to be creating. She can’t not create. It’s in her DNA. Just like I am fulfilled by crossing things off a to do list and by having my kitchen clean, she feels fulfilled from creating.
It’s so different than me, but instead of being frustrated by it like I was for so long, I’m slowly learning to really savor and embrace it.
God knew that I needed a jolt out of my utilitarian, minimalist, INTJ, Type 8 world, so He sent me Kaitlynn.
And the more I fully accept and embrace her for who she is and how she is wired, the more I realize how much she adds to our home and to my life.
I don’t want to try to stuff her into that little box anymore! I want our home to be a canvas for her soul to breathe. So I’m proudly displaying these tissue paper flowers crafted with joy and sprinkled with gold!
They serve as a reminder to me to embrace everyone in my life for exactly who they are, instead of trying to make them into who I think they should be.
Links You Should Check Out:
- Looking for a work-at-home job? I highly recommend checking out this course! It’s an extremely well done, very encouraging course packed with advice, and offers a great listing of 100+ companies that hire at-home workers! (Read my review here.)
- If you wish you had more time for creative projects, be sure to read this post on Pocket Time.
- Need some parenting encouragement & inspiration? Check out this offer to get a HUGE bundle of parenting resources for just $29.97!
- I’m doing another Eat at Home Challenge starting on Monday! Get all the details here.
- Are you a mompreneur? Do you live within driving distance of Nashville, TN? If so, I’d love to invite you to join me on August 17, 2017 for a FREE Dream + Do event.
- I finally finished blogging about our East Coast Road Trip! You can read all the posts by following the links at the top of this post here .
- Are you in the middle of Back-to-School Shopping? Be sure to check out all the best deals we’ve been sharing .