One Saturday afternoon our family was enjoying lunch together. Well, trying to enjoy it in spite of Mckayla’s whining. I looked at her and said, “Mckayla, if you don’t stop whining, I’m going to take you straight to naptime.” Her whining continued and I whisked her off to her bed. As I walked past Paul’s chair I heard him say, “Don’t mess with Momma the first week of January.”
What a laugh!
The sad thing is it’s true.
Already this month I’ve seen the progression: Motivated and disciplined; tired and inconsistent; frustrated and overwhelmed; humbled and seeking help; motivated and disciplined…
By the way, I don’t think this cycle will ever be eliminated. I guess my goal is to just spend more days in the motivated and discplined spot.
Thinking about my New Year’s goals and the questions I asked my kids has helped these last few days to get back on track. Especially helpful has been trying to think through the last month. What worked? What didn’t? What can be tweaked?
I won’t rehash all of my goals, plans, priorities and resolutions; but I’ll just list certain ones which are comment-worthy. Then I will probably jot down a few specific things for February.
I think, conservatively speaking, that goals 1-5 were “small step” successes. I felt a little more prepared, in general; was more productive in the evenings, but not in the mornings; played the piano a few times and almost caught up on thank-you notes; tried to read at night before working or relaxing with the iPad; chose to spend time with the girlies “just because” which is so rewarding. Now, if it was November, I might feel really good about those things. But most of it should just be attributed to January momentum. Now I have to really work and watch to keep improving.
Number 6 is hard to judge. What I can say is that pregnancy is a fairly difficult time to lavish your husband with love and affection. I can remember specific times this month when he was on his way home and I was in no mood to be unselfish, when God answered a simple prayer like, “Please help me to bless him, and do good to him…” with grace beyond my abilities. Looking forward for more grace to grow in this every day.
With regards, to having an attitude of prayer throughout the day, I do not believe there was any growth. Positively, I can say that the burden and necessity of prayer for me as a believer and wife and mom are growing inside me.
Again, this may be rather scattered. Definitely some things will be left out.
The two big specific successes of the month were finishing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer and organizing my kitchen and pantry. Whoo! Those both felt really good.
Exercise. This is what I have to say: I think I did some kind of something three times this month which is three more times than I did last month. Enough said.
Homeschooling has been rather a challenge this month. Not the actual school part, but it felt like so many times there were other busy things planned in the day that made us have to juggle our schedule. I would like for this month to be more routine. Also, while I did really good at my weekly planning, I need to do better at night making sure the room and chalkboard are ready to go for the morning.
We did play outside a good amount, but I think we can do even more. It helps so much with Mckayla taking naps – which helps with every other last area of life! = )
There was significant improvement in the area of laundry. I’m taking it slow and trying to just develop steady habits that will keep clean clothes in our drawers. Other than that, the other priorities need some more prioritizing. Seriously, if you’ve never made a list like this and referred back to it often, you should try it. I find it so helpful.
In the area of prioritizing nighttime sleep, I get an F+. Because… overall, I think I went to bed a tiny bit earlier, but there were a few nights that would just blow that average out of the water in the bad direction.
A few things to focus on in February.
-Going to bed and getting up earlier. Just go ahead and plan on reading that one every single month.
-Exercise twice a week. Plan these!
-For books, I’m planning to use February and March to finish What Jesus Demands from the World and Robert Frost’s Poems. I know the Piper book will be a great aid to the resolution of “rejoicing in the character of God.”
-At our last library visit I picked out four biographies that I thought would be interesting for Hopey. Probably on Monday, I will let her choose one and we will read that together in the month of February.
-I need to pick out my first passage to memorize from the Bible this year, and I would like to finish reading the minor prophets this month. I started with them since it had been so long since I’d read them.
-Training for the younger girls most mornings a week. I had been using this time to do little ABC’s or numbers or books, but right now, they need to grow in obedience more than any of those other things.
-Organize our bedroom. Call in the Cavalry! We’re going to need it.
-Keep up with weekly menu planning and grocery shopping.
-Currently I’m working with the girls on their morning responsibilities; we all fold and put away their laundry together once or twice a week; and I’m having Hope and Sophia clear the lunch table while I put the little girls down for naps. These might seem small, but they are a big help to me. Instead of adding more responsibilities at this point, I’m going to stick with these and try to solidify them as habits for us all. (It’s hard work to make sure your kids do their work!) As the month goes, I might add a few more things.
-Toys. I’m planning on buying two tubs. One for toys to put away for awhile (things that are no longer age-appropriate, things the girls seem bored with, or things that are consistently not where they’re intended to be) and one for toys that I see certain of our children chewing on! The idea is if I see any toy, piece of jewelry, anything in a mouth that’s not supposed to be there…. it goes in the tub and they can’t have it back… until they disinfect it or something? I have a feeling this one will evolve. All I know is that a two and four-year-old using regular toys as chew toys has got to stop! Sorry to end on a negative note.
Well, my, my, my; I do hope this wasn’t so boring that you wanted to poke your eyes out. Or that if it was, you stopped reading a long time ago.
I already said it, but it’s true. It’s so helpful to revisit and re-evaluate your goals!
Thank you so much for reading.
Here we go, February!