It is the end of the week and the first week of a new season, in my life. I have spent the entire week doing all that was required of me and more. My children just went back to school on Monday and I started a new semester in graduate school. Not only that, but I am now in a new program/college, so I’m having to adjust to how things work. With all that has been going on, I have not been able to write as I had desired, but I did take some time to reflect on a few lessons from this week. Some were new lessons and others were reiterated lessons. I just want to share a few of these with you.
These lessons have come from specific areas of my life, but I think that there are ways that they can be applied in multiple areas as well.
As a Woman
With all of the busy-ness in the air, I had to make sure that I stayed on track with what was happening around me. There are six people in my family and it is very easy for me to be the last one that is taken care of. However, when that happens, no one is happy because I am tired and drained. I can’t really support them the way that I need and want to. This is why I’ve had to pray for wisdom and to use it.
Here are a few of the lessons that I’ve learned as a woman. Perhaps, you will find them helpful.
Always have a plan
I don’t know about you, but when too much is happening in my brain, things don’t go well. I am not able to give the current situation 100% because I am too busy being concerned about the other 5 things that I have to do. I may run late or even forget about some other the things that need to be done. For this reason, I believe that it is important to take time, every day or the night before, to make a plan. I believe that it is important to take time, every day or the night before, to make a plan. Click To Tweet Not only do I make a plan, but I get that plan out of my head and onto paper. This gives me a reference point and allows me to focus on the task at hand. This week having a plan, definitely came in handy. My oldest is in high school, my two middle children are in elementary, and I still have a toddler at home. I still want to maintain my relationship with my husband and other close family and friends. Being scatter brain would definitely not help my relationships. 🙂
Plan, but Be Flexible
Although I have a plan, I can’t be rigid and stuck in that plan. There are a few different reasons for this. The first one is the most important. I have shared this before, but I personally know it to be true.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9
No matter what plan we have, we are not sovereign or God. He has an ultimate plan for our lives and while He does desire for us to plan our way, it is ultimately His direction that we will walk in. I can set 9,900 tasks to complete for the day, but the Lord knows those which I will really accomplish. This is why we must remain flexible. We have to know that He has it all together, even when we do not.
Planning allows us to steward our day. However, flexibility, leaves room for the things that God has orchestrated to happen. Let’s be honest… the reality of it is that whether we decide to remain flexible or not, the Lord will have His way and things will happen. the reality of it is that whether we decide to remain flexible or not, the Lord will have His way and things will happen. Click To Tweet It is just better to plan to be flexible, so that we are able to cope with the change well. When people don’t cope with change well, they begin to experience anxiety because things did not go the way that they intended for them to go.
But the question is, who is in charge here, us or God?
We must steward, but remain humble and flexible enough to receive His plan for our lives.
This leads to the other reason for flexibility.
Things come up. People need us. Schedules change and sometimes, we just need to rest. Allowing ourselves to remain flexible does not cancel out the plan, it is just the realistic part of planning.
If we remain flexible, things will go better and life will remain enjoyable…trust me on this one. I know from experience. 🙂
Eat Healthy & Stay Rejuvenated
Whenever I talk to my father about things that are happening in my life. Before we begin to assess the situation, he always asks me a few questions about my state of mind and my health.
- Did you eat and take your vitamins
- Were you well rested or tired
- Did you exercise or stretch/meditate (in the word of God), or do your affirmations
The point of his questions is not that of the specific details of the activities. Instead, he is simply asking me if I had taken care of myself this morning or prior to the event that we are about to discuss. After years of my father asking me these questions, I began to realize the difference in my mood when I had taken the opportunity to take care of myself and when I had not I began to realize the difference in my mood when I had taken the opportunity to take care of myself and when I had not. Click To Tweet
In those times when I had neglected self-care, I would find that I was more irritable and frustrated. However, when I had taken the time to do what I needed to do to take care of myself, I functioned better. My family and friends were more pleased with my presence and everyone is happier.
This week, this was very important. With having to run so many errands and adjusting to the new schedule that we have, making sure that I took my vitamins, rested at night, exercised and took time to meditate on the Word of God, were keys to my week going well. I honestly believe that this is one of the reasons why I am not completely drained or frustrated at the end of the week.
Tests Will Come, but Prayer is Essential
All week, we dealt with different situations. There were new adjustments that my children had to make with their sleeping, eating, and playing schedules because of school. They had new teachers and friends. My schedule took a beating, as we all had to get up earlier and be on a well structured schedule.
On top of the normal things, policies at the schools raised questions that needed our attention. My textbooks did not arrive on time, which put me behind in my coursework. When I contacted UPS, the manager told me that my books were “in a box, on a plane somewhere, about to land and be delivered to me in 24 hours.” 😀
Situations like this come up and we have to decide how to handle them. I had to pray a lot this week. My children were dealing with situations with their friends and teachers, while I was dealing with my University. I could have easily lost my temper, but I decided to seek God prior to moving forward with all of my actions.
This did not require an hour-long prayer. I just simply stopped what I was doing and asked God to help me. I asked Him to lead me, guide me, and direct me, as to what I should do next. Then, I moved forward.
Later on, I took more time to submit the details of my concerns to God in prayer.
The great thing about God is that He is very faithful. When I asked Him for help, He helped me. There were a few situations that He had me to request further attention from the supervisors and others that He directed me to, simply, leave alone.
I wanted to make sure that I was using my time and energy the right way, so I just did what He led me to do. I must say, life was less emotional than I know it could have been, if I had done it all my way.
Rest, Reflection, & Relationships are Key
As a woman, I am a relational being. In many ways I could be considered an extrovert, but I have my introvert ways about me as well. I like to say that I am me, but I realize that “me” doesn’t help you understand what I’m trying to say.
I spent a lot of time doing and going this week, but as much as it was important that I plan and execute the plan, it was equally important that I rest and reflect on the situations of life.
Each morning, I take the time to sit down and do nothing. I might sit outside in my chair and read or I may stay inside. Yet, I give myself the opportunity to do nothing. If I choose not to read, I just observe the atmosphere and take in the moment of the day.
I have found that this is an essential part to my functionality throughout the day. I realized it even more so this week. No matter what was going on, I had already given myself the time that I needed to rest.
Generally, I take some time to sit down and write out my thoughts regarding the previous day’s activities. Very early on in my marriage, motherhood, and life as a woman, I found that it was beneficial to write out my thoughts. This gave me the opportunity to think about the things that were happening in my life without having to share every detail of my being with another individual. While I have trusted relationships, reflection brings about self-awareness and studies have shown that those who are more self-aware are also very aware of others. As we come to know more about who we are, we learn more about the difference between us and God, ourselves and others, and life.
Reflection on life is essential to personal growth. It is one of the reasons why, I believe, that my season of life has changed as it has. If I had not realized specific things about life and my situations, I would not be able to adjust accordingly to the changes that God was wanting to bring about in me. My character has definitely benefited from reflection.
It is not good for us to be alone. This is something that God made very clear, early on in the book of Genesis. We are supposed to have relationship with God, family, and friends. Yet, many times the busy-ness of life drowns out the time for relationships. However, I have found that it is very important to remember that not only do we need relationship with others, but they need relationship with us a well.
My husband and children not only desire my cooking and driving skills. They also desire to have my time and attention. This is one of the reasons why I have not been on social media as much as I have in the past. The clicking and ticking of my fingers hitting the keyboard, should not outweigh the amount of time that I spend with my family.
I also have friends that are such a great blessing to my life. They are wise, funny, smart, and caring women of God. I am so honored that God has given them to me and I have come to realize that relationships have to be cultivated in order to grow. If they are not cultivated, they will remain as they are and in some situations, they may even die.
Thus, in the midst of all that I have going on in my life, as a woman, I will continue to make time for relationships.
Next Lessons of the Week
I did not know that this post would be so long and I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many details, so I am going to make my Parenting Tips and Marriage Tips of the Week very brief. Perhaps, I can expand on these in the near future.
As A Wife
I have noticed that no matter how busy life can get there are specific things that I can do to maintain and improve my relationship with my husband. Here are a few of my tips for the week.
- Listen & Encourage– Many times, my husband just wants me to listen to him. Many times, my husband just wants me to listen to him Click To Tweet He isn’t looking for me to tell him what to do or how to do it. He just wants to have me as an open ear and heart that is on his side. I take his concerns to the Lord and allow Him to be all that my husband needs. Then, when the opportunity is right and I see that there is room for it, I encourage my husband. Perhaps I just share with him the fact that I appreciate him as a husband, father, and friend. I could also communicate to him through my embrace that he is respected and loved. I find that these two things are very important to building a healthy and prosperous relationship with my husband.
- Be Available– With all that I have going on, it is important that I make time for my husband. This might mean that I remain flexible throughout my day to do or be there for him, when he requests it. Now his requests may not always be verbal, but I have to pay attention to the requests that he makes. Allowing myself to remain available to my husband affords us the ability to continue to grow. With this he is continually reminded that I am trustworthy, dependable, and faithful to him. (Of course there are times when I cannot pull away from a meeting or something of that nature, but I must communicate that I will get back to him as soon as I am free.)
- Find Something to Laugh About– Life is tough enough. We don’t want to go through the moments without a friend to laugh with. There is no better partner for this than your husband. Listen attentively to his jokes and laugh, when you find them funny. Try to be light-hearted and care free at times. Tickle, wrestle, or just poke him. If he isn’t a touchy type of guy, find ways that you two can laugh together. Laughter makes the heart healthy and brightens up a relationship. Sometimes, my husband and I just look at each other and start to giggle because, well…it’s silly. It helps our relationship to stay fun and can become useful in the moments when times are hard. This week, it was important for us to laugh together. We were so busy and had so many different situations come up that laughing gave us a breath of fresh air.
As A Parent
My tips of the week as a parent are very simple, self-explanatory, and effective.
- Listen well– Make sure to pay attention to your children when they are speaking to you. Make eye contact and actively listen to what they are saying. This builds their confidence and helps them to know that they are loved.
- Make time for your children– This means that sometime we have to say no to something else, but making time for our children allows us to do things with them that brings the quality above the quantity. Perhaps you could read a book, color a picture, toss the football, or play hopscotch. Doing these things with our children show them that we care and make it so that they don’t feel deprived of our attention
- Just Be There. It Means A LOT– Sometimes there isn’t anything to do. Our children want to play with their friends, watch television, or read by themselves. However, the fact that we are in the room makes them feel loved and secure. I have seen this with my children. It is especially true when they spend 8 hours or more, away from my husband and I, in the presence of other adults that are not family. This also helps them to feel confident.
I hope that you have found my tips of the week helpful, encouraging, and inspiring. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on them and how you have or plan to implement them.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!