Friday, March 26, 2010

Finding Balance

I have just had all of these things swimming around in my head, and I had a quiet moment this afternoon, so I thought I would share :).  I, apparently, don’t know how to stay away from blogging :).  It’s just such a release for me… but, this is different than what I normally write about.
I shared a wonderful blog titled “Chasing Imperfection” a few days ago, and the next day, I read one titled Your Expectations of You: Something’s Got to Give.”  I think maybe God was trying to tell me something. 
The next day, I got myself dressed and got my kids dressed and we spent the entire morning outside.  It was amazing.  I didn’t worry about the house.  I didn’t worry about making meals from scratch.  We just spent time together.  It was wonderful, care-free, and NOT stressful.  BUT, the next morning I woke up to a really messy house, and that stressed me out :).  So, through all that I have read, the experiences that I’ve had this week, and through praying through things, I have come to many conclusions. 
As important as eating healthy and living naturally is, it’s really not high on the priority list because it’s not eternal!  It’s important to take care of our bodies, but to put it above loving Jesus and making Him known, loving on my family, and loving on people that God has placed in my life, is to make it a higher priority than it should be.
But, I don’t want to just let go of eating healthy all together because I want my kids (and myself and Robert) to feel good each day and have the energy to enjoy this life.  I also don’t want to have a disgusting house because that’s hard to live in.  Plus, we need clean clothes and dishes :). 
I am still on a quest to find balance.  In this season of life, if I don’t find balance, I may regret it later.  I don’t want to look back on my time home with my little ones and wish that I would have done everything differently.  I don’t want to look back and see stress and turmoil.  I want to look back and see joy.
I’m not saying that I’m always stressed… because really, my anxiety is way better than it used to be.  I DO enjoy this life that the Lord has blessed me with.  It’s just that (as I’ve shared MANY times), since I put so much pressure on myself, when I can’t live up to the perfection that I try to achieve, it just makes me frustrated.  I don’t want to be frustrated!!
So, I’ve decided to ask myself some questions (mostly from the Life As Mom post):
What are my goals for this season of life (because each season I will have different goals)?  What is non-negotiable and what can wiggle?  Does what I’m doing fit this season of life? 
My goals are:
  • To spend time with Jesus however I can so that I grow in Him and His love.  Does that mean that I have to get up an hour before everyone else so that I can read and pray for an hour?  Not necessarily.  I would LOVE to get back to that.  But, right now it’s too difficult because I don’t get much sleep at night.  What I’ve been doing is spending time with Him while I’m nursing Levi (a little here, a little there), and that seems to be working pretty well :).  Plus, I’m learning a lot about praying continually.  I don’t have to sit and have a “quiet time” to spend time with Him!!
  • To love on and spend quality time with Robert and the kids.  This means putting the broom down and going outside to play.  This means getting off of the computer when the kids are asleep and have quality time with Robert.  This means stopping a little bit each day to focus in on what my husband and children need from me.  I’ve been doing better and better with this… still have a ways to go!
  • To love on and build relationships with my family, camp family, and church family (and whoever else God puts into my life!). 
  • To keep nursing as long as I can and as much as I can.  I have noticed, though, that the more pressure I put on myself to stop supplementing, the lower my supply is.  I had a day in which I went a full 24 hours without supplementing… I shared that on my Facebook status, and that very night I had to give six ounces of formula (which is a little more than a normal day.  I need to just supplement when I need to, and not worry about it.  I would LOVE to breastfeed exclusively, but it’s too hard for my body.  I might be able to if I pumped after every feeding, drank 10 glasses of water a day, took more herbs, etc, but I just don’t have time to worry about it.  If I could nurse exclusively without tons of extra work, I SO would… but have to just do what I can do.  Again, the more pressure I put on myself, the worse things go.  On average, he takes about 4-5 ounces of formula a day (usually a little mid-day and a little in the evening).  NOT bad. :)
  • To keep the house cleaned up enough that it’s not stressful for me or the kids.  Also, it’s important to make sure that we have clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to use/eat from!  BUT, I don’t need to make this a focus at all.  My goal is to just pick up the house before nap and before bed… that way I don’t worry about it the rest of the day!
  • To do my best to watch our spending.  I do a pretty good job of this, but I could do better.  BUT, I don’t want this to become an area in which I am focused on all the time and make it an idol.  Our goal is to not spend much on anything but necessities and try to give more away!  We don’t really need anything anyway!!
  • To eat as healthy as possible (in this season of life).  I have been buying more and more “convenience foods,” but I still try to read the labels and not buy things that are heavily processed.  Yesterday I went to Costco and bought things like pita chips and hummus, Annie’s crackers, bread (made in Austin- it only has a few ingredients!), etc.  I also have some things here that the kids like a lot (raisins, dried cranberries, grapes, apples, bananas, avocadoes, packages of carrots, cheese, etc).  Another thing about this area is that I am not going to (try to) avoid the dining hall here at camp anymore (in this season of life, at least!).  I haven’t been avoiding it like I keep say I’m going to because the food is free, I don’t have to cook it, I don’t have to clean up after it, and it is a great time to spend with Robert and my camp family.  I will just continue to do my best to make wise choices.
  • To keep a flexible routine.  Routine is very important for kids (and for me!).  I can’t NOT have routine (nap times, meal times, etc)… but I need to be flexible.  Being here at camp, life is different every day.  Robert never has the same days off each week, and with each group that is here, brings a new schedule and activity.  So, we will just go with the flow!  One thing that I do love about being home is that when he’s off, we’re all together.  When I worked, he watched the kids on his days off.  I also love that we can be involved in this ministry together.  This weekend we have a Family Camp, and we have camp fire tonight.  It’ll be fun!!
  • To slowly get rid of things around the house.  This isn’t necessary, but I feel that it will help relieve stress and bring simplicity to life.  Plus, I desire to teach Karis about giving our things to people who truly need them.  I want to just do this a little at a time and not make it a focus.  That doesn’t bring a life of simplicity…
  • To blog about things that I am learning about in life.  To be honest, I’m not sure how much of my “natural homemaker” self will be coming out for a while.  I do like blogging, and I do like sharing what I learn about natural living and learning new ways to manage my home, but it has become way too much of a focus and I want to put that on the backburner for a while.  I hope you’ll stick with me in my journey!!  I’m not saying that these things won’t be blogged about (because I love it!), but it's just not going to be a focus for a while.  Who knows what the next season of life will bring (I at least need to get out of this newborn stage with Levi!).
I’m so thankful for my life, for my husband, my kids, my family, our camp family, our friends, and even our amazing home.  I want to just enjoy this life!  I don’t want it to be focused on what other people are doing or not doing, what I wish I could be doing or stop doing, etc. 
Galatians 1:10- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” 

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