Sunday, April 22, 2018

For Everything A Season

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Winter is really hard for me.  I live in an area with a relatively mild winter climate.  Even still, when it rolls around each year, I strongly consider a move to someplace sunnier and warmer.  Somehwere that i can comfortably take a picnic on Christmas day and avoid the Seasonal Affective Disorder that I've diagnosed myself with.

While it is possible to make a geographical move and erase a yearly season from your everyday life, other seasons are unavoidable no matter where you live.  Plant a seed and it still has to grow before it becomes a tree and produces fruit.

I have a tendency to always work to improve our home, our lives, my marriage, how I parent, our diet, our schedules, routines, organization methods...the list goes on.  Improvement isn't necessarily bad.  But, sometimes I forget to consider my season.

Years ago, my mom made a wise observation about my generation (and is probably true for all generations of young adults). She said that we all start out in adulthood and expect to be at the stage our parents are in, forgetting the fact that they didn't start there.  They had to work to get to that point.  We forget to consider the season.  A newlywed couple fresh out of college can't expect to have the same financial freedom as empty nesters working in a stable long term job.
Contentment has a great deal to do with considering one's season.  If I'm striving for something inappropriate for the season I'm in, I'll never be content.  However, if I recognize where I'm at (and that it won't be this way forever), contentment will come easier.
So, here's to remembering that I'm in a season of littles, and laundry (so much laundry), diapers, toys everywhere, kids jumping on the couch, questions, and snuggles, and breastfeeding, and nurturing little hearts.  And here's to loving as many minutes as I can.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Needs vs. Wants

I always thought I had a pretty clear differentiation between needs and wants.  In a very strict sense, I do.  True needs are pretty basic.  Things that keep us alive and well.  But, since starting this challenge I've found that there are other needs that are less obvious.  For instance, when B mentioned that Rascal never seems to have any shirts in his drawer, I was torn about what to do.  Another shirt or two would make life a little easier, but was that really a need?  He HAS shirts.  I just have a hard time keeping up with laundry.  However, if the child doesn't have a clean shirt in his drawer when it's time to get dressed, this is sort of a need.  I'm realizing that I have a harder time distinguishing needs vs. wants when it comes to my kids.  It's easier to say no to things for myself.  In the end, Rascal got one new shirt because Monkey got new cleats for baseball and Rascal didn't get any, so he got a shirt instead.

Our trip to Disney was pretty easy as far as buying goes.  I got myself one practical souvenir (a stainless water bottle).  Each of the kids had a set amount of money to spend, which made it easier for me to not buy them lots of stuff or overspend in the name of "vacation".

More noteable, in my opinion, is my separation from social media.  In the first few days, I found myself reaching for my phone in times of boredom, only to realize that my phone is pretty boring without Facebook or Instagram to stare at mindlessly.  It made me anxious, at first.  But now, I feel like I'm more present and less anxious, overall.  I use my phone to work on a project (currently I have some photo projects going on), play a game (which seems to draw me into a different world much less), or I just set my phone down and read or soak in the moment and stare at my cute kids doing their cute things.  This is something that's been on my mind a lot over the past several months, so I'm sure there will be a whole post on this, soon.

I stuck to the same verse for 2 weeks so that I could think on it more and have a better opportunity to talk to my kids about it.  I like talking to Monkey about things like that.  He seems to soak it in and always surprises me with his questions.

For the next week or two I'll focus on this verse:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1