Friday, January 18, 2013

Some Unexpected Lessons

When this week started on Monday morning, I thought that I'd be completely exhausted come Friday. The game plan for the week was for Brian to stay home with Nicholas in the mornings while I worked at the office of our missions organization, and then we'd switch places at lunch. With all the mom/wife/friend/blog things I normally do (and still feel in over my head), I assumed that it was going to be a doozy of a week. (To be clear - I love the people I get to work with in the office, and the job that I was able to do - I just know myself, and that I get overwhelmed easily by a busy schedule.)
It's Thursday night as I write this. And you know what? This week was awesome. I feel more ten times more focus and energized than I did when I woke up on Monday morning. And I think I know a few reasons why.

- I got ready first thing in the morning. Instead of slowly eating breakfast with Nicholas and waiting until 10am (ok, 11am) to get dressed and ready for the day, I was up and at 'em first thing in the morning. It was so energizing to just get up, eat breakfast, and be ready for whatever the day brought.

- I was more intentional with my time. I had to be! When I was home, I was spending time with Nicholas, cleaning, cooking, hanging with Brian, writing, etc. I felt like my "work time", whether it was at the office or as a mom, felt meaningful - so my rest time felt meaningful too. (Thanks Jessi and the teaching from her Influence Network class for that idea!)

- I was focused on something other than me. This week opened my eyes to the fact that I think about myself a LOT. My plans for the family. My blog. My time to get dressed. My alone time during Nicholas' naps. When I think about myself so much, I don't give much thought to how I can serve others. (And thinking constantly about yourself is quite exhausting.) The scripture is true - it is SO much more of a blessing to give than to receive. The Lord also reminded me of some specific passions I have, in terms of serving others, and I'm so grateful for those reminders.

It's going to take the Lord, and some major intentionality, but I really desire to implement some of the things I learned from this week into my everyday, stay-at-home-mom life. I'm going to give myself lots of grace because I'm never going to be the perfect mom, wife, friend or follower of Christ. But I hope that when next Monday morning rolls around, I'll remember the joy and fulfillment that intentionality and others-focused-time can bring. I pray that I can continue to grow in loving others, using my time more meaningfully, and in the end, looking a little more like Jesus.

I obviously need to grow in a few areas - I'd love to hear some of your experience and advice! How do you find time to serve others in the midst of a busy life? Even in small ways. And what types of structure/intentionality has enabled you to do the things you need to do and the things you love to do?)

(Also - MAJOR props to the working mamas. You ladies deserve a million gold stars. I worked half days for a week, and was blown away by the amount of planning and intentionality it takes. You rock.)

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Linking up with Ashley & Casey today

3 comments:

  1. I don't find time either to give to others because I'm always so busy, but one thing I do (and I have never told any one about it before as I don't think that giving should be about receiving praise for it), there are a couple of homeless people on the street I work and I sometimes will buy them a meal, like a nice hot breakfast from Starbucks or something. I never give money because I don't know what it will be spent on so I just get them a meal that I would personally like. I don't normally buy food from places like that because I think it's too expensive so I prefer to make my own food at home and bring it to work with me, but I honestly think, if anyone deserves a nice hot meal, they do. Another blogger actually got me thinking the other day, because I've never given charity infront of my daughter, I always do it when I'm on my own because to me it feels like a private thing. But I want to start doing it in front of my daughter to show her that it's a good thing to do, and to realise that not everyone lives comfortably like us. I'm really glad you had a great week and were able to be intentional with your time :-)

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  2. When I'm busy, I also have to be really intentional with my time. When I don't have a lot of time with my husband, I try to be really intentional in showing him that I love him in a unique way. For instance, once I put little notecards around the house with words about his gifts and talents and how much he means to me, sometimes I'll turn off some of the lights and light candles when he gets home for a candle light dinner, and sometimes when its cold I put a warm fuzzy blanket on two chairs, and make some yummy hot cocoa for the the two of us with candles lit.

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