Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Little Things Mean So Much

For the last couple of weeks, I haven't exactly been the most cheerful person to be around. I could make excuses and say it's because of the heat, or the lack of being able to sleep comfortably, or the isolation of living way out here in the country with only the company of my children day in, day out.

But really, those are all just excuses.

Yesterday, I resolved to end the pity-party and get back to my real self. Time to put away the gloom and bring the glow back out.

The first thing I did was revamp my daily to-do list. Nesting urges aside, there's no way I've been able to accomplish the long list of chores I've laid out for myself every day. The only thing that managed to do was make me feel like a failure. I've talked so many times to my big girls about setting priorities to get the most out of your day...it's about time I took some of my own advice. Here's what I came up with.

I broke it down into three categories: Most Important Things To Do, Things I Should Do, and Things I'd Like To Do. Then, I gave myself room for only three things in each category. After putting some real thought into it, I decided on the following:

Most Important Things: Read my Bible, schoolwork with the big girls, play outside with the kids.

Things I Should Do: 1-2 loads of laundry, clean bedroom, balance checkbook/update budget

Things I'd Like To Do: Update chicken coop progress on Weksny Acres blog, organize my desk, write a letter to a friend

When I wrote it all down like that, I realized that I've been putting all my time and energy into chores that will always be there waiting for me, and neglecting the things that are far more important, especially reading my Bible. I know the benefits, to myself and my family, of taking even a little time out for myself to get into the Word every day. Doing that one small thing gave me the peace and perspective I've been seriously lacking.

The next two important things were simple. We decided months ago to do "light" school days through the summer and take off 4-6 weeks when the baby comes. The girls and I have both loved it. And playing outside with the kids? I've used "it's too hot" as an excuse too much. Summer is supposed to be hot, and children should be outside getting sweaty (within reason, of course). Even if I can't do much more than push them on the swing, at least we're all out there together.

We ended up having so much fun, even after we came back inside for snacks, I could've cared less about the rest of the list. I did get to a few of those other things, but knowing that the most important ones were done gave me a sense of accomplishment and the ability to cut myself some slack about everything else. I got to laugh myself silly with my children. How on earth could getting my bedroom clean compare to that?!

A footnote of irony to all this...

I've spent so much time moaning about being lonely that I'd forgotten one basic fact. The Lord is always with me. I humbly asked forgiveness for wallowing in my self-pity, and thanked God for the reminder that I'm never truly alone.

Way later in the afternoon, the phone rang (a truly rare occurence here). Of all the people in the world, it was the woman we bought the house from (she was the executor of the estate after her mother passed, and in charge of getting the house sold). It seems that I've been on her mind lately, and she was wondering whether or not I'd had the baby yet. I was so happy to hear from her, and we spent at least twenty minutes chatting, giggling with excitement about the baby, and getting caught up with each other. I promised she'd be among the first five people we'll call after the baby arrives, and she promised to come down and visit.

I'm always amazed at the way God works and moves in our lives. It seems such a little thing, a simple phone call. But it meant so much.


Amy @ Six Flower Mom said...

I so hear you ... the month before my last son was born I was a wreck -- we had moved, I knew no one, I was preparing for continued weeks of visitors, and I was miserable ... and I completely forgot all the really important things!

This lasted for several weeks after he was born ... I will be very honest ... one afternoon as I sat on the livingroom floor, tears pouring down my face, no dinner planned, laundry to do ... thinking I might be going crazy ... my kids all came to my side and for the first time in weeks I 'noticed' them ... and remembered that all I really wanted and all that really mattered was that I was being a good mom.

I picked myself up and went to play with my kids ... I am learning to prioritize what is really important and cut myself some slack AND it has been so much better!

Hang in there and cut yourself some slack! Peace to you and your family!

Dr.Kim said...

Thank you so much for helping me to remember what's important. I really like how you divided it into 3 parts; I might try that. Only 3 more weeks till my next baby; I want to make sure to spend quality time with my kiddos beforehand.

Wendy said...

Amy, thank you for sharing that. Well said!

Dr. Kim, you are so welcome. Good luck!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I've learned to use a Six Most Important Things List and find that when I stick with it, I feel organized and good about what I have accomplished. Otherwise, I'm a scattered wreck! I need to get back to using my list - thanks for the reminder.

So good to meet you at the #pityparty09 today! Looking forward to getting to know you more.

Wendy said...

Heather - Thanks for stopping by! The party was a great time...looking forward to getting to know you and the others better, too. :)

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