This week Handsome Husband graciously allowed me to slip away overnight with the girls. We zipped up to Flathead Lake for a quick visit with dear friends.
I say allowed not because I am an indecisive, delicate flower of a wife (ha!), but because it was Husband’s sacrifice that made the mini-adventure possible. As we have thoroughly depleted his vacation time from work, Husband stayed back and punched in with a pint-sized Padawan in tow. Little Man accompanied his hard-working Daddy to the office sporting business casual, sitting in on meetings and charming the staff whilst sneaking donuts. (husband forgot to snap a pic, sad face)
Husband gets me. Twenty-four hours was just what this Mama needed to get a sliver of her groove back. It’s been a whirlwind summer, jam-packed with house-guests and yard-work, sleepovers and birthdays, and an abbreviated home-school agenda. Sometimes we mommies put a ridiculous amount of pressure on ourselves to do Every Good Thing at the expense of our sanity.
God has been reminding me to put the proverbial oxygen mask on myself first before attempting to secure one on those around me. Lately I’ve been operating from a place of severe oxygen depletion, near unconsciousness, whilst attempting to serve my family. No bueno. A thirty-something, home-schooling, mother of three cannot subsist on coffee and discarded sandwich crusts alone.
My sweet Sister in Flathead understands. A fellow home-school comrade who spends much of her days in her Subaru zipping from activity to activity, she has articulated the phenom beautifully, “I admit we are going a million miles an hour, but now we are at least all going the same direction.” Despite her full schedule, she does a terrific job of carving out time from the margins to exercise daily and nourish her soul with Truth from the Lord.
Friends, I haven’t seen a doctor since we before moved to Montana three years ago. Apart from family recreation, I don’t exercise regularly. I don’t fix myself a plate when I serve my kiddos breakfast and lunch. I’m not reading my Bible regularly, and my once robust prayer life has dwindled to irreverent pleas for supplication.
I’m weary of treading water, fearful of drowning. I want to set a course and focus my strokes with intention and purpose. I’m learning which earthly pursuits truly recharge my batteries, and which leave me depleted. I wonder if I really am the extrovert I have always claimed to be.
The following are what my meager attempts at self-care, me time, look like:
1) No talkie before coffee. With homeschool we can start our day whenever we want. Just because another family has their work completed by 11am doesn’t mean that’s the best fit for us.
2) Commence our day with prayer. Set the tone of our classroom by daily dedicating our efforts to the Lord.
3) Food is fuel. It’s unwise to run on fumes. I would never neglect to provide adequate nutrition to my kids, yet I regularly do just that to myself. If stewarding my own temple isn’t motivation enough, then I will remind myself that what I am modeling to my kids will surely shape the way they care for themselves when they are likewise grown.
4) Fresh air and robust activity. Nothing like taking in big gulps of fresh mountain air to remind a gal that she is, in fact, alive. God reveals Himself in nature and all of creation. What a blessing to have strong legs that can carry me for miles.
5) Daily Bread. Give us, this day, please, and not the kind that is food. Marinating in Truth sets my mind on things above, versus the ever-present earthly distractions.
6) Let it Go. I’m looking at you, Dishes and Laundry. My natural bent is to obsessively clean. I might be the minority in that a spotless house is not a sign of me having it all together, but rather evidence that I am struggling.
7) Robust conversation. I
love need to process out loud with those bold enough to speak challenging truth to me. Perhaps I am extroverted, afterall.
8) Sweet Indulgences. Chocolate, thrift-shopping, wine, mani/pedis, the day spa… moderation is key.
9) Using my noggin. Jeopardy and People Magazine crosswords serve as reminders that I do, in fact, have more than two brain-cells to rub together.
10) Smoochy-time. Date-night. Husband. ’nuff said.
As the summer season wanes, and our schedules get even busier, I pray I remain fixed on glorifying God by being a good steward with the days He has given me.