Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dealing with Broken Promises

Words are a powerful thing. No matter whether we want to believe it or not words carry a lot of weight

What is that saying? "The pen is mightier than the sward"

One thing that my mom spent a lot of time working to instill in me and my siblings is that the words we say matter. We were always told to make sure we mean what we say because we can't take things back.

We were also told not to make promises because they are just too easy to break.

I think that is why I struggle so much when people break promises to me. I know that, for the most part, the people that tell me they are going to do something or make a particular promise to me are trying to do it out of goodness. I don't believe everyone sets out to lie and break promises for sport. However, more often than not, that is exactly what tends to happen.

That got me thinking about the promises that I can rely on.

When it comes to promises made by humans I feel certain I can rely on the promise made to me by my husband to love, honor, and cherish me all the days of his life. I can rely on the promise that my parents are going to support me and help me out as best they can when ever they can.

But there are better promises that I can rely on. Ones that come from my heavenly Father.

Jeremiah 29:11 
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

This is one of my favorite promises from God. Most people want to believe that this is all about making enough money, having everything they could ever want, However, this is about so much more. Plans for a future and a hope of life everlasting. Could it be more wonderful than that. God, the creator of the universe has plans for ME, for MY future. He isn't saying these things to get what He wants then going back on that promise. He sent His ONLY son for this hope and future! How awesome!

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

This is another promise that I lean on often. Life is heavy, and messy. There are days that by the time I crawl into bed I am amazed that I lasted as long as I did. Especially in these last few weeks I find myself relying on the promise that I can give all my cares, worries, and stresses over to the Father that loves me. I lay in bed drifting off to sleep knowing that no matter what challenges come my way in the next day or two or ten I will be able to get through it because, even when I feel completely alone, I know I am not. 

There are so many more promises that we can rely on in scripture. It give me hope that no matter how many times people in the world make me promises, and no matter how many times those promises get broken, I will always have the promise of eternal life with my loving heavenly Father to look forward to.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Adjusting to a New Normal

Routine. I love it. I like knowing what is coming next. I like being able to prepare for events that are coming up. I like being able to brace myself for any type of emotion that might come with an event.

However, I also know that life is incredibility unpredictable. And that often makes things very difficult for me.

With Dusty working this new job that has him gone so much I am having to completely re-evaluate how I go about my day. The day time hasn't really changed much. I still spend the day changing out laundry, cleaning (sorta) and loving on at least 2, if not more, beautiful children. I do my best to squeeze in working out, homework, blogging, and building relationships.

It's the evenings and weekends that have had to be adjusted.

You would think that since we are a home-school family the bustle of dinner and evening routines wouldn't be a big deal. However, there is something about getting dinner cooked and cleaned up, bath times, evening devotionals, and bed time kisses that makes everyone go crazy. Especially when I am having to do things on my own.

Top it all off we are spending most weekends in one motel or another so that we have the opportunity to get to spend some time as a family. While I love being able to spend time with my husband and have my kids get to see their daddy, I have to say I am not a huge fan of being trapped in a small room. (Not that our apartment is much bigger)  To add to that we are having to eat out rather than be able to prepare our own food at home.

I know that this is not a 'forever' situation but I have spent a lot of time thinking about the ins and outs of why God has placed this particular opportunity in our lives.

I think back to the time when Dusty was pastoring full time when we were still in Hobbs. Even though for most of that time it was just the two of us there was a lot of times I ended up having to get dinner by myself (or some really good friends), take care of chores, shopping, and managing daily life on my own, and still be prepared to be by his side if there came a chance that he needed me to be there. I was also working a full time job as a preschool teacher so there were also lesson plans to be prepared, papers to be sorted, and projects to be completed.

Today, I am basically doing the exact same thing and the time Dusty has to spend with us is precious and to be treasured. I feel like this is just another way God is preparing us for going back into full-time ministry. To prepare my heart and to thicken up my skin a bit for when the church will need him more than I will.

I am sure that we won't always be spending our weekends living out of a motel room, but we might be spending weekends eating dinner without daddy because he is spending his in a hospital beside a friend in need. We might always have to take fun field trips to the zoo or park on our own because Daddy is helping a family prepare for a new journey through marriage.

No matter what the reason it is my job to make sure that the kids don't look at it as another thing taking dad away but rather a chance to see Jesus in action. Instead of complaining that I am tired of being all on my own to handle the hard stuff I need to be thankful that my husband is willing to serve an any way he is called to do. It isn't always going to be easy (trust me, it's no walk in the park right now either) but it will be do-able.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Over My Mornings: Days 13 and 14 (also know as the end!)

Alright! I did it. It took A LOT more than just 14 days but I got thorough the "Make Over Your Mornings" course by The Money Saving Mom: Crystal Paine. I really enjoyed going through the program. Most of what she talked about each day were things that I already knew, but she helped me to break it all down into bite sized pieces so that getting my life on some sort of track didn't seem so daunting.

Day 13 was all about taking a look a the routines that had been set and re-evaluating them to make sure there weren't any little tweaks that might need to be made.

Of course, during the process of "making over my mornings" my husband made a job change that has required him to be gone more nights than he is home. So this means that I am going to have to take a look at my evening routine and re-evaluate how that will go. I am most likely also going to have to look at my morning routine and reset that as well.

One thing that has already changed in my morning routine is my waking up and making that first cup of hot tea. For the last week I have been skipping the hot drink and going straight for my workout. That has also meant that my Bible Study and quiet time has been pushed back. Luckily, I have been able to get most of everything else done around the same times (except creating the to-do list)

I am working on finding a system for our evenings that has the kids a bit more involved in the process so that one is a work in progress but I feel like, for the most part, we are on the way to finding something that will make everything in the house run a little bit smoother.

Day 14, the last day of the course, was designed as a challenge. This challenge was to just stick with it. She suggests coming back to the routines lists, the todo lists, and the priority lists after 21 days of being as faithful to sticking with these things as possible and just assessing where you are. Finding out what is working best and what could stand to be changed.

One of the big things that I came to realize is that life is a work in progress. I am the type of person that once I set a routine or a lay out a schedule I like to stick to that from there on out. I am a planner. I like to know who, what, when, where, why, and how every aspect of my life is going to take place. And when that doesn't happen, when my plan gets veered off course I PANIC! I mean I really panic.
One of the things I am working on this year in my life is that while I need to strive to be consistent in what I do, be it exercise, meal prepping, study time, or how I parent my children I also need to learn to be fluid. Life is going to happen no matter how much I try to plan and prepare for it. Unexpected things are going to come up and I am going to have to learn to go with the flow and adjust as necessary.

I really think that is a lot of what this "Make Over Your Mornings" course has been all about. Finding and creating routines that work for your busy life and schedules that leave room for adjustment when husbands get jobs away from home and kids get sick in the middle of the night or if you just need a moment to give yourself a break.

There it is. My journey of making over my mornings in 14(ish) days. What do you think? Is this something that you might be interested in trying?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Making Over My Mornings Day 12: Simplifying the Decision Making Process

Day 12, just 2 more days left of this course in making over my mornings. I know I keep saying it but I have really been enjoying getting things into a better rhythm around my home.

Today's lesson was focused on finding a few areas in my life that I could simplify by creating routines. Crystal discussed how we all make what seems like a million decisions each and every day. Her suggestion to limit the number of mundane decision that must be made is to limit them.

For me one of the areas I simplify in this area is to meal plan and prep.

I do my meal prepping for 2 weeks at a time. I start with digging through my mountain of cookbooks

Then I write out my menu and my shopping list. From there it is off to the grocery store. This week I had a little helper do the shopping with me.

This is where some AWESOME Thirty One product placement
should be BUT all my totes were in San Antonio being used.

Once I get home with all my goodies I begin to work. Most people have a system of chopping of the veggies, slicing the meat and things of that nature.

I prefer to prep one meal at a time. That is how I can keep it all straight.

I lay all the ingredients out on the counter. I then write the meal on a Ziploc bag. It makes it easier to know whats hiding in my tiny freezer.

From there I assemble all the ingredients. Sometimes recipes require that I separate the ingredients and for that I put them in individual baggies then into the big baggie.

Once its all said and done my freezer is stocked and ready for the next two week.

The last step is writing out the menu for the 2 weeks on the menu board so that the whole family knows what we will be eating on any given day. 

This is one of the ways that I reduce a need for decision making. All the major decisions have been made ahead of time. 

One of the othe ways I have limited my need for decision making is by making a chore chart for me and my family. Each one of us has a room assigned with on free week. This way everyone knows what they are supposed to do. I have check lists made out for each room so they know what is expected to accomplish by the end of the week. 
So these are the few things I am doing to cut down on the number of decisions that I have to make throughout the day. 

The end of the lesson Crystal talked about setting a goal to continue on the path of making over each and every day.

So the goals that I have set myself  are that if I continue to follow through with my morning routine and my evening routine for the month of February I will treat myself to a mani/pedi Something I haven't had in AGES.

And if I stay consistent with my workout and nutrition plan for the month I will reward myself with new pants. So far I have been doing pretty well. But its only day one!

What routines do you have to make daily life a bit more simple? Do you reward your self for keeping up with routines? Let me know!