Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Plan...for now at least!

     I feel like a broken record right now in my life.  I keep saying the same things over and over again.  2017 has been rough so far.  Oh, there have been plenty of good times, but in my mind, the struggles seem to be coming at me faster and harder.  I have a dear friend who told me that 2016 felt this way for her.  She said that her prayer was for comfort and grace to get through the season of life that she was in.  She said that things didn't get easier, but after a period of time, she finally was able to feel peace.  Truly, that is what I am hoping for at this point.  I don't know why we are going through this season of life, but I am hanging on to the trust that God has a purpose and a plan for it all.

     With Lent approaching, I feel that it is a perfect time to work on adding some things to my life to make things easier and hopefully better.  Jim and I are committed to having a devotional time together each day.  It won't be easy because there are days that he works early, but I feel that this is important for us.  We will be starting our morning with some words of wisdom from the Bible.  I am also planning on going to the Bible study that my church has now that Delainey doesn't have practice on Thursdays any more.  I have a few more things that I plan on doing, but I don't have those details worked out yet.  I miss my quiet time with the Word, so that is getting worked back into my life!

     Another thing that I plan on doing during Lent is to once again give up Coke.  Not just Coke this time, but all pop.  I have several friends who don't drink pop any more and I want to be one of them.  There is nothing remotely valuable about pop.  Empty calories and chemicals that I don't need in my body need to be gone.  I struggle to drink enough water, which is what my body really needs.  I am not giving up coffee (of course, I still haven't replaced the coffee pot that died last week yet), but I don't drink coffee all day long, just in the morning while getting ready for work.

     There are also a few other things that I intend on restarting.  I used to be really good about meal planning and making sure that I had all the groceries that I need on hand.  I haven't meal planned in a while.  I have been flying by the seat of my pants and that just wears me out.  You can only have mac and cheese so many nights in a row!  I have also really slacked on things like making my bed in the morning.  It's a little thing, but I feel like I have accomplished something if my bed is made each day!  The last big thing thing that I need to do is get back on board with my Saturday morning bill paying and budgeting.  I have gotten out of the habit of doing this on Saturday mornings. I am not sure why, but that needs to happen again, especially since I am the bill payer for Jim's parents as well.

     These are the big things that I have planned.  I have some other things planned as well that fall into the category of self-care.  Date nights with Jim, time with Delainey, a trip with the girls are all on my planner.  I am also getting back to some things that I did in the past that I have stopped doing...learning and using more essential oils, scrapping, walking and hiking, and writing.  Sleep needs to be a priority for me as well.  I will have a bedtime, and I will go to bed on time.  Seriously!

     I don't think that doing any of this will change the struggles that we will continue to have, but I am hoping that it will change my mindset about it all.  I can't continue to sweat the small stuff.  I need to control my actions and reactions, and learn to accept what I can't control.  I need to lean on my friends, my family, and most of all on God to get me through this season of life.  I don't know why the struggles are happening, but He does, and I know that He has me covered through it all.  If I start acting like I have forgotten this, please remind me!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Just say No!

     No is such a little word, just two letters.  It's not hard to pronounce, but it is so hard to say.  If we say no, will people think that we are bad people?  If we say no, will we feel guilty?  If we say no to our children, will people think that we are bad parents?  What if we say no and no one else says yes?  If we say no, will people stop asking?  What if we say no and someone does it better?  What if we say no, and someone wants to know why we said no?

     I am guilty of saying yes to often and no not enough.  I am a people pleaser.  I want to help people, so I say yes....often.  I say yes even when I know that I should say no.  I say maybe and usually end up saying yes.  I have a dear friend who doesn't say yes or no right away.  She says thank you for asking, I need to pray about it.  And she does.  Sometimes she says yes, but other times she says no.  She knows when no is the right answer for her.  We all should be that confident.

     So far, 2017 has been a struggle for me.  I am struggling to find my balance, let alone find time for more of what I want and need.  I feel like a really bad juggler lately.  I have lots of balls in the air and I keep dropping them.  Things that I have said yes to this year haven't been done.  I need to do a better job of saying no.  I need to pray when asked to do something so that I know if yes or no is the correct answer.  I need to evaluate where I have already said yes and see if the answer should instead be no.  I need to learn (and know) that it is okay to say no.

     Right now, I have several major things going on in my life...caring for aging family members, working full time, searching for a house, finding time to be a good wife and mother. and taking care of myself as well.  As a good friend says "the struggle is real".  My struggle isn't the same as her struggle, but it is very real to me.  Some days, the struggle seems to overwhelm me.  During this time of my life, I need to be able to say no.  And I need to know that it's okay to say no.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Here and Now

     It's no secret to anyone who has talked to me recently that I have been feeling overwhelmed.  Jim, Delainey, and I have all been dealing with some illnesses...nothing serious, but we all have been dealing with different things over the last month.  In October, I started working 5 days a week again.  I am not driving 2 hours a day any more, but I have lost my extra day to get things done.  Jim's parents moved in with us in December, so we have had some adjustments there as well.  Jim's job is farther away, so he is gone from home more often, which I am not used to any more. And to top it off, we have started house hunting.  Is it any wonder that I am feeling overwhelmed?

     Jim and I were having a conversation about how I am feeling the other one of the few times that we have been able to be alone recently.  He reminded me to be present in the moment.  5 years from now, how different will our life be? Delainey will be almost she going to want to hang out with us?  Jim's parents have a lot of health issues, we don't like to think about it, but will they still be with us then?  Things in life can change so quickly, I need to find ways to live in the here and now.

     One of the things that I am working on is a daily/weekly schedule for myself.  I have a friend who has morning schedules, afternoon schedules, and evening schedules.  That much would make me even more stressed out.  I would focus on all the things that I didn't get done instead of looking at what was done.  I also need to focus a way on doing things that I enjoy.  I have been spending lots of time recently coloring.  It's mindless enjoyment, I can do it while I am with the family, and I don't feel that it takes away from my family.  We have lots of family time with the three of us.  Delainey and I have lots of time for the two of us.  Jim and I struggle to find that time together.  We know that some day we will have all kinds of time alone, but we need to have that now as well.  I also need to work on time for me to be alone.  Whether it is going to the library while Delainey is at swimming or sitting in my car at lunch time, I need time alone.   Jim will tell you that when I get time alone, I am a happier person.

     For now, I am working on changing the things that I can change.  The things that I cannot change, I need to be able to let go...some how.  I need to focus on the here and now, enjoying the little things that make up my life.  In the mean time, if you see my sitting in my car, I probably just need a moment to myself!