Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I give you a little peek into our life from the past week and also share things I’m pondering/learning.
Happy Sunday from Quill, our pet hedgehog. 🙂
Family Fun at Top Golf
We celebrated my birthday this past week by going to TopGolf as a family — something we’ve been looking forward to ever since we discovered they were building a TopGolf here many months ago.
TopGolf isn’t a super inexpensive outing and here was a long wait, but we had a lot of fun and it was a special birthday memory!
Presentation Day at School
Silas finished up his first quarter at school with his quarter project and presentation. Their project was to create something from ancient Egypt (what they were studying the first quarter) and then present a 30-second speech in front of the whole school.
He chose to make a pyramid and pyramid walkway from clay. I so proud of how confident he has become up on stage speaking in front of a big crowd of people. It made him extremely nervous the first two times last year. This time around, I honestly don’t even think he was one bit nervous. And he looked so sharp in his suit! 🙂
Books I Finished This Past Week
1) The Rest of God — I really loved this book and slowly savored it over the past 5 weeks or so. So many thought-provoking sections that challenged me on what rest truly is and why it’s so important in the life of the Christian.
2) Braving the Wilderness — I’ve read all of Brene Brown’s books and every one has challenged, convicted, and changed me. This one was no different. While it has a lot of strong language and many things in it I don’t agree with (like all of Brene’s books), I think it’s so worth reading — especially in this day and age where we spend so much time on our screens and social media.
What Having Older Kids Looks Like
This is what having older kids looks like. And it’s basically the best thing ever.
I woke up craving whole wheat pancakes one morning this past week, so when Kaitlynn got up, I asked her if she wanted to make pancakes.
She said, “Oh! That sounds like a great idea!” 20 minutes later, she brought this steaming plate of pancakes to me.
Moms of littles, there are pancakes like this in your future! Don’t give up… all that teaching and training and nurturing and letting kids work alongside you will pay off one day soon! (Need some encouragement? Go read this post.)
How to Actually Find Time for YOU
I used to feel like it was selfish to take time for me. Like there was too much to do and it would be wrong for me to rest and recharge and refuel.
What did that result in? Burnout. Exhaustion. Stress. Irritability. Like these flowers, I constantly felt worn out, weary, and wilted. It hurt everyone and helped no one.
Learning I’m an introvert and a Highly Sensitive Person, has helped me to understand that I have to carefully guard against being stretched too thin. I stopped comparing my more-limited capacity to someone who has boundless energy, isn’t HSP, and is fueled by going and doing and being with people.
And I stopped feeling guilty for pacing myself, for saying no, and for allotting at least 2-3 hours of chill/slow/quiet time into my day almost every day.
For me, I’m a happier, healthier, more productive person when I make refueling and rest a priority. So it’s so worth it.
So how do I find time for me? Well, I make time. I ask for help. I plan in pockets of time every day and larger windows of time at least 1-2 days per week. I say no often. I don’t commit to something without careful thought. And I have accountability in place to make sure that I’m continuing to make refueling a priority.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: When you decide something is a priority, it gives you permission to make it a reality. (Looking for some practical ideas to find time for you? Read this post.)
A Lesson That Can Be Easy to Forget
It’s easy to look at pictures online and imagine perfect lives. You see smiles and amazing moments and curated photos… and you can forget that behind all that, there are likely a lot of things that aren’t being shared. Because maybe they can’t be.
This year, I’ve walked through some of the most heartbreaking moments I can ever remember. Some of my dreams and hopes for the future were shattered in a dozen little pieces.
There have been countless tears. There has been hurt so deep that my body felt like it couldn’t bear it. And it’s felt really lonely.
I’m grateful that I have a few real-life safe spaces where I can share the ugly and the messy. But sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite online because there are many things I can’t share.
It reminds me that everyone has struggles. Everyone is hurting. And everyone is carrying burdens and sadness that they probably can’t talk about.
So when you see photos online and start to convince yourself that someone has an amazingly charmed life and you wish you could trade places with them, remind yourself that there’s likely a whole lot of stuff behind the screen that they are struggling with or hard things they are walking through. ❤️
By the way, in spite of the sadness and hard things, like I told some friends earlier this week, I have such peace in my heart. I’m just so grateful for the good and beautiful things in my life. Because when I stop to pay attention, there is SO much to be grateful for.
(Photo credit: @gallerybylauracharleston)
How My Parenting Has Changed This Past Year
So many of you have begged for me to share how my parenting has changed this past year as a result of me writing this post. Here are some things that have changed and made such a difference:
- I began to parent from an understanding of the Gospel. That I can rest in Christ’s finished work on the Cross. Which means I can stop trying harder, or thinking that if I just did more, had a better schedule, was more organized, etc. that would make me a better mom.
- I began parenting from an understanding of how much I am loved by God. Which allows me, in turn, to more wholeheartedly love my kids.
- I stopped trying to parent for behavioral modification (“are they doing the right things?”) and outward performance (“what will other people think?”) and started parenting from a desire to point my kids to Jesus.
- I stopped focusing on parenting the “right way” and started focusing on just wholeheartedly loving my kids and building relationships with them.
- I stopped praying for my kids to change and started praying that I could love and walk with them right where they are at.
- I cut back on my work hours to be more fully present with them in the little things and in the big things.
- I stopped spending so much time correcting and started asking questions and listening.
- I made a commitment to try to spend quality one-on-one time with each child every single day.
- I started paying attention to what they are most interested in and what makes them feel loved and leaned into that/looked for ways to be a part of their world.
I’m a work in progress, but I’m here to tell you that I feel like I have completely brand-new relationships with and understanding of my kids as a result of these changes. And there’s a whole lot less frustration and a whole lot more joy in our lives as a result! 🌻
3 Links You Should Check Out
- Looking for a yummy pumpkin recipe? Try this Freezer-Friendly White Chocolate Pumpkin Bread. Oh and my favorite hot drink right now is Decaf Chai Latte.
- If you are looking for a work-from-home job, be sure to check out this post on how you can become an ESL teacher in China without leaving home.
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