I am a first born child. I think there is lots to say about first born kids, Lord knows mine is showing me a lot about myself and it is interesting to watch him grow and learn and wonder if I experienced those first gentle years of life with the same expectations of myself that my oldest son seems to set up of his own. I look back and realize I am a natural goal setter. Whether it's been make the student council in elementary school, be starting setter on the volleyball team, beat a certain time in track, make college deans list, volunteer more, be nicer, read my Bible more, lose weight, or whatever it has been... I work well when I am working towards something.
Naturally, as I have adjusted to adding another child to our family I have found my purpose got a little foggy while I tried to steer myself through a new way of life. It's in those foggy moments that I believe Satan waits to pounce on our thoughts and heart. I begin to believe lies about myself and the people around me. I am bad at teaching my baby how to sleep well, I am bad at planning meals for the rest of my crew, I am bad at organizing this home and getting us all where we need to be when we need to be there, I am bad at juggling more then two kids, my husband thinks I am fat and ugly (he NEVER said that, a lie I told myself), my husband wishes I was better at...a, b, or c (again, my own lie in my head), my middle son feels unloved because he is so quiet and good and gets the least of my attention sometimes, my friends think I am crazy, my friends think I am losing it (maybe I was at times? :), my friends think I can't handle 3 kids very well, I am not good at much, my hair is ugly, my clothes are ugly, I smell bad (okay, this MIGHT be true at times too), I should be better at a, b, or c, and so on... blah, blah, blah...lie, lie, lie. Add a double dose of very little sleep and these Satan fed lies can get the best of me. Thankfully, I can seem to get past this stage and find some truths for myself. In these truth telling moments I bring out my first born tendencies that have been my shadow all my life and set myself some new goals, some things to be working towards if not start doing right away. It helps me to write things down and so when the calendar flipped to 2012 this year, I found it a perfect time to write down some things that I need my heart and mind to be working towards. All it took was a little pad of paper from my kitchen counter, a cup of coffee, a bended knee, and a heart in surrender to God. This is where I let my heart stop and turn away sinful thoughts so that I could be open to what and where I wanted to focus my heart and actions. A little time with my Lord and this is what I have to look at these days instead of a laundry list of lies.
1.) Date night- I want to make a much better effort at dating my husband this year. Even if this means waiting to pass out in bed so we can talk about our day and our family and our dreams. I like dreaming with him and I love a dinner out... so hopefully this will look more natural and regular by the end of 2012.
2.) Visit grandparents- My hubby and I both have a lot of our grandparents left. They are getting up there in age and my own have been a huge part of my growing up years. I believe there is a lot of value and wisdom to gain from our elders and I want my kids to have a heart for the older people in our life. Compassion, patience, kindness, and respect are just a few reasons to focus on these relationships. We need to spend more time with these sweet people in our life and I want to make an effort to get my crazy gang of 3 boys to their homes more.
3.) Complain less, laugh more- Sleep deprivation can cause me to get crabby much quicker then a well rested version of myself. With no sleep, I started to complain in my head more. Not always verbally, but to myself I was complaining way too much. I didn't want to let my heart condition be a non-thankful or joy filled one. I wanted to find humor in circumstances that are temporary and not the end of the world. I didn't want my kids to hear a whiny mom while I tried to teach them about no complaining. Actions speak much louder then words!! And laughing is good for the soul!
4.) Wake up before my kids- This home functions best when mom gets up before everyone else and can have her own quiet time, set clothes out for kids, make breakfast, start laundry, etc. Short nights with my baby had me dragging out of bed when the first kid arose... I start the day already feeling behind. This is a goal I hope to have in place regularly much sooner then the end of 2012!!!
5.) Exercise, any kind- I just feel better when I have done ANY sort of physical activity... walk around the block once even. I usually can tie this in going to get Jaxon from school, but the crazy first months post-new baby stage has me with no consistent exercise schedule. I am breast-feeding and know my milk supply is greatly effected by how much I do this time around (I think the lack of sleep takes enough toll on my body). This is a goal I am looking forward to putting into place this fall. For now, my physical activity is going to be being on my feet all day and the many trips up and down my stairs and hopefully the walks with my kids come spring & summer and hiking trips to our local reserve :)
6.) Be a calm and gentle spirit- the little sleep thing is really effecting so many parts of my life. I tend to get a little anxious feeling inside with such few z's. The anxiety turns into a sometimes tension filled spirit and I find that gentle calm core of me is no where to be found. I am working on pausing more, breathing deeper, waiting to respond, starting my days with God, ending my days with a candle lit and reading time, working slower, not saying "hurry up" to my kids, praying more through out the day, and moving slower...within myself at least. This fast paced life as a mom with young ones will NOT get the best of me...yet :)
7.) Say YES to help offers- I am very bad at letting people help me. I feel guilty and like a burden. I never want to bother people and seem to think I should do my jobs on my own. w.r.o.n.g My husband has had to call in help for me a few times this past year and while I was so embarrassed, he was right. I needed it and it felt so good, as hard as it was to accept. I am going to say yes to all help offers if possible this year. Even the sweet high-school gal willing to carry my pizzas to the car are getting a yes this year. I need to be better at accepting help and asking for it when I need it or I end up over my head and overwhelmed.
8.) Be courageous- This has just been on my heart lately. I work well in the "norm"...I drag my feet when things have to change and I adjust slowly. I don't take risks often because I don't want to ruffle the feathers. I like to know what is to come and plan accordingly. A first child thing, I think? Either way...I want to be courageous for my family, my God, and for what could be instead of what I always feel comfortable with. More to be said on this one in the future.
Here it is. A bunch of things to work towards and work on. My list these days. I have a year to adjust these things to my everyday life and for now it feels good to take one day at a time knowing this piece of the puzzle is part of my purpose. How about you? Anything you are working on for yourself?