Monday, June 3, 2013

From Slowing down to Realistic Expectations...

I cannot tell you how glad I am that I found the Mom Challenge. I have been having the best time!

Scripture tells us to "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  I find this especially true this time of year; when school is freshly dismissed for summer break, I'm still in working-like-a-banshee mode and desiring to be the mom I know is hiding somewhere deep inside.  I have to focus on switching gears this time of year...and I have to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  It is a conscious effort for me to not be a task-master.  I have to keep myself from driving my family crazy with things-to-do.

The Mom Challenge has been good for me because it helps me to focus on one minor change at a time.  The first week's challenge was eating dinner as a family for 3 nights a week.  This one wasn't much of a challenge for me. This is priority at our house.  We do it nearly every night, unless my husband has a late meeting (which is rare).  We eat together, as a family, No TV, no iPod, no phone calls, no texting, almost every single night. Of this I am happy!

Last week's challenge was to slow down.  Yeah.... this one was hard.  I'm an up-at-the-crack-of-dawn gal, and 15 minutes later, I'm working my list like a rock-star.  I am driven by my yellow highlighter, by which I get to mark off my task list.  I'm addicted to completing tasks.  So slowing down...not so easy for me.  But here is what we have been up to slow down around these parts. 

1) We bought a boat...sort of.  It's a 2 man inflatable raft.  There is a small fishing lake near our house - and the weather this day was perfect.  We took snacks and lots of pictures.  And surprisingly, no one fell in :)

We built a fire pit:  It was simple, really.  $42 worth of supplies and an hour and a half of manual labor.  1) cleared the area with a weed eater.  2) tilled up the soil so I could clear and level it.  3.) placed first layer of bricks, tamped down with a rubber mallet, checked for level, 4) laid second layer of bricks, 5) filled with pea gravel.  

(Note: If you choose to do this project, please check with your local fire department for local regulations)

We cleared the creek bed in the back yard... this is what we see now, from the fire pit :)

And we went fishing in the pond behind the house. It's located right behind the brush row in the photo above.

And now that I've learned to slow down - this week's challenge is realistic expectations.  Yes, I like to-do lists and I love a good project.  But I need to set realistic expectations, too.

Back story: I am working from home this week.  I work 3 - 4 days outside my home.  But this is the first week my kids are out of school.  Local child care doesn't start until next week, my husband is out of town on business, my mother-in-law is helping with my 2 week old niece, and my neighbor is on a mission trip.  Meaning...I'm stone cold out of luck on child care this week.  So I'm trying to get a few things done remotely.  We'll see how that goes.

However!  I do have expectations for my children this week, as well.

1) test the markers and sharpen colored pencils.  This may seem a little absurd to you, but we have hundreds of left-over school supplies; not all of them are in proper working order.  So this week, the little people will sort out the markers, crayons and colored pencils.  They will test the markers.  If they work we keep them, if they don't, we toss them.  Any broken crayons get thrown away.  All colored pencils get sharpened (we have an electric sharpener, people!)  When boredom strikes, we have art supplies at the ready.

2) clean out all clothes that my kiddos can't possibly wear.  That includes their closets, drawers, under their beds, hiding in back packs, stuffed in the toy bin, and shoved in the corners.  

3) shop for summer clothes that fit!  My daughter is going to summer camp in a few days and she has "nothing to wear!"  Skrreeeeeeaaaatttttcccchhhh...  Oh goodness...whatever shall we do? {interject sarcasm, here} We can't have her going naked at church camp!  {insert eye-roll, here}

And so, I think those are pretty realistic goals for a whole week at home.  

How have you been focusing on slowing down?  What are your realistic goals for this week?

Only By His Grace,


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