My Words for 2017: Healthy Changes | Restoration | Wonder
**edit 1.5.17 | I know change needs to happen. The healthy kind. God has been whispering restoration and wonder to me as well, but I am only now seeing how they are linked in my case. A lot of my battle is in the mind, so today I am making a declaration and need accountability to entrust my thoughts to God daily. It’s not like if I worry about something more it has a bigger chance of turning out better. No. So here’s to healthy change!
Life isn’t a formula but there are some things I learned in 2016 that proved to help me have peace of mind and a sense of progress, even if slow.
Some of these I JUST recently tried or discovered. **big eyes**
So…Here is a list of 13 things I am doing now that will, by the Grace of God, bring order & peace of mind.
This is the long version. Each is bolded with detail following.
#1 Stop putting off what I know will help me just because it is hard.
This goes for learning from others, to getting the tools I need to help manage my life better.
I shopped for months for a good planner for our family but the one I liked was too much and the cheaper ones for homeschoolers are at a little shop about an hour from where we live. I used to say I didn’t do things because of not having a car, then I said it was because I had 3 kids and didn’t want to even go there, but at some point one must do the hard thing to get something done! I finally chose to purchase locally and invest in a planner for each kid for the sake of my sanity and decided it was worth the money. (And thanks, mom, for the giant one specifically for me! A fitting Christmas present indeed.)
#2 Stop making decisions based on the past.
We have been homeschooling for about four years now and it never occurred to me that we ever wouldn’t [at least anytime soon.] As I am reading about balance, I am finding one must go back to the drawing board over and over. One can’t just put life on autopilot because God once told them to _____. Things change and I have been trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. The life I had envisioned for my kids wasn’t just a whim. God really did lead us to take the home educated approach for numerous reasons all these years, beginning with an email from the ps teacher. It has worked for us for but the last year or so I have wondered. It felt like I was defending it [even to myself] more than enjoying it. When you can’t give like you used to, you have to push the restart button. Something has to change or the same things will keep happening. We are praying about the public school option but more and more it seems to be the route our family needs. They need friends and I am not tied to past needs or past fears for that matter, anymore.
#3 Go to bed way earlier so I have a fighting chance at getting some sleep.
I ordered Nature Calm, a powder magnesium supplement and it should arrive in a few days. Thanks, Michael Hyatt. I have goals that can not be accomplished unless I get up super early, but I don’t want to kill myself…
#4 No coffee after 6pm anymore!
This is an experiment. Everyone in my family can drink it at all hours and still sleep. I am so desperate for sleep I will try at this point. This doesn’t promise my toddler will go to bed without a fight but hey-any move in the right direction is better than where I am.
#5 No more signing up for things until I finish what I started.
This one sounds like a no-brainer but it seems easier said than done. I have lived a life of signing on for too much at once. Good intentions don’t always steer me in the right direction. The desire to fix every issue I have has to be curbed to level with the reality of my humanity. Hopefully the changes we are making will help me to feel rested and human again, which will help with order, motivation and focus and yes…my previous nemesis, follow-through.
“We don’t want to be under-achievers (heaven forbid!), so we fill our schedules uncritically. Options are as attractive as they are numerous, and we overbook.”
-Richard Swenson, M.D. of Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives. (source)
#6 Play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in the background.
New favorite alongside, Celtic music and Native American pipes. Moral here: soft, lyricless music helps this mama.
#7 30 minutes of intentional movement/exercise.
This gets my blood flowing, pumps out some energy and is good for me anyways. I was always petite so didn’t harp on myself about this but signs say I need to get moving.
#8 At least 20 minutes of fresh air.
I’m outdoorsy at heart, but before this week it had been cold and we have stayed indoors a lot more whereas before we’d take our home work out on the patio. I got really stressed out the other day and finally made the wise choice to walk away from the situation and trek to the back woods. I prayed and meandered and by the time I got back I was so much better. These simple acts are so vital to me.
#9 Make time to do the thing I love.
I have withheld fun from myself at times because when I get bogged down, sometimes fun feels far away and unrelated. I used to sulk a lot or quite the opposite, I now pray and cling to God even when it doesn’t look pretty…but either way sometimes fun doesn’t sound like it should be allowed to take part. What I keep discovering in hindsight is that grabbing my camera, going outside and then writing about it really keeps me stable. For along time I denied this and thought it was selfish that I should find so much peace in something other than God but I am realizing all this is a GIFT from God Himself and I should not look at it as evil because He made it to be good. I grew up hearing JOY meant Jesus, others, you and so any inkling of thinking about myself just felt wrong because there was always some “other” out there or nearby. It would never get to the Y. If God made us for a purpose and He formed us with desires that can glorify Him and I withhold that from myself, I hurting myself, God and the ones I could bless. I am now trying to allow myself to spend time on things that build up and refresh like I was doing before here, hence the changes that are happening.
“No more spiritual tight wad.” – [Tweet this]
#10 Get the Word of God in some how, some way.
I have been under a lot of stress lately and need it more than ever. I used to listen to lots of audio podcasts of Christian authors/speakers and want to start doing that again. When you are without tech and apps you find yourself going back to the basics: knee-prayer and Bible-thumbing. Lately I have been reading an advanced copy of Kelly Balarie’s new book Fear Fighting. This whole post took courage to admit by the way.
#11 Speak Life, not death.
I had lots of trouble with this from years of experiences, wrong perspectives and lack of knowledge that words really do matter. My friend, Jennifer Dukes Lee wrote The Happiness Dare and God used it in my life during some really trying times this past year. All those little slivers of thanks in a jar really did help me, and last night as I was trying to ease my son’s stress – I reminded him that it is scientifically proven that good thoughts are healthy and bad thoughts are unhealthy, and to try praying for the person who is annoying him and then think of 3 things he is thankful for to calm him down. He said it was working! I laid in bed thinking, wow…I really need to practice what I preach.
#12 Keep the lights dimmed at night and play calming music.
I had this playing last night before bed. Rain and thunder sounds are also helpful. We sleep with a fan on for white noise but this in the background was a bonus. This one is important as we struggle through a weary stage with our four year old who doesn’t want to stop playing.ever.rrr.
#13 Pray before bed.
It is good to always pray but I am talking about intentionally praying before trying to fall asleep. I used to do this out of good habit, out of who I was and the relationship I had with my Father but this season has been a trying one. If I can remember the truth which is this: Give God the load of the mind and know He is bigger than all that…then I see the fruits of it and roll my eyes at myself that I forget what is good for me so quickly.
Thanks for joining me for #TeaAndWord Tuesday. Our linkup will continue Jan. 31st!
PS: I have a few more things I want to try like essential oils and getting better pillows but some of our hopes can not be accomplished as quick as ordering on Amazon and will take time and perseverance!
If you have wisdom for getting a toddler to sleep on time please drop me a comment below!
This post holds many topics and I have used them as a launching pad for future blog posts. If you know of any young moms who struggle with overwhelm, the need for balance, encouragement in their faith adventure, or a nudge to do the hard thing… share my blog with them or subscribe here.