As I rushed around my church to help out while my children followed behind like little ducklings, our pastor’s mother began chatting with me. During our discussion about helping out and trying to juggle the children, she said words that have always stuck with me. “It’s not your season”, she told me with a little smile and her own stories of motherhood.
Our lives have seasons. They change as the winter and fall and with them, your life dynamic changes. When you are young and responsible for no one but yourself, your life can be paced in any way you desire. As a mother of a toddler and school-aged children, I am limited to working around their schedules. Nap times, half-day school schedules, extracurricular activities, and of course, family time tend to dictate what you can do. It’s not a bad thing, she assured me, it just meant that my priorities had to be different. My family had to come before a desire to help others, that’s the season that I’m in.
With this new year, I’ve been wondering what my season really means for me. I’m the mother of three school-aged children, a preschooler, and a toddler. Everyone is at a fairly independent age, apart from my two year old, in that I can get more things done in my household. They’re all comfortable with our regular babysitters, granting my husband and I the occasional date night. Family activities are finally at that age where they’re more fun and less scrambling. We’re on time for more than half of our commitments now! With all of this in mind, what are my hopes for this new year and our family?
In the past year, my faith has grown exponentially. Now, I attend a different Bible study every quarter which focuses on different books and chapters. I make time to read alone at home. I purchased a translation of The Bible that I found was so much easier for me to understand, and it’s perfect for cross-referencing it with a more traditional version. I’ve begun to pray about everything and I can feel its power.
I just want to be stronger in my faith, learn from His Word, and strive to glorify Him with my actions. I’m attending a women’s retreat in March to strengthen my connection with God and my sisters in Christ. During this season in my life, I can definitely afford the time to volunteer at church at least once a month, helping out in the children’s ministry. While it’s often difficult to find quiet time to focus, I want to make sure that I set aside time to hide away from the family so that I can read The Bible and pray.
I’m relieved that we are finally in the season of being able to focus more on each other. Last year, we were able to go on a romantic getaway to Mexico and it was a beautiful experience for both of us. Getting that big break in was perfect but now I want to focus on the daily. I don’t want to let so much time pass before we spend time together alone. Every month, I want to go out on a date night with my husband. Between babysitting and activities, it can get expensive, but I’m hoping to budget for the night out.
If we absolutely can’t get out, I want to schedule a date night in. Once a week, we’re also going to make sure that we spend a few hours giving our undivided attention to an activity we share in together. Usually, we’re snuggled up on the couch and watching our favorite shows but I think it would be fun to try to find more indoor activities to engage in, like board games or even new video games.
Another way to continue to strengthen my marriage is to pray for it. Pray that we give each other grace, patience, and understanding. Pray that we are able to find these times to just enjoy each other. Pray for each other and all of the daily stress of work, raising children, and life in general.
We are in one of my favorite times for family activities! My toddler is at the age where she can at least sit for a while and everybody else can understand an educational activity, like a museum exhibit. This year, we’re hoping to take a semi-local vacation with an array of different types of things to do. We’re thinking about something with a lot of nature experience, maybe in the Poconos, and I am truly hoping to be able to get my husband to see Hershey Park for the first time!
It’s also finally time to start planning for our first Disney vacation as a family. We know that we’re going in 2019 but we haven’t nailed down a specific date so we have a lot of research ahead of us to determine crowds, weather, and cost fluctuations. I’m just excited to begin the planning process!
As far as the daily goals go, I want to keep nurturing my children’s faith. I want to ensure that they’re praying and reading their Bibles, and that they keep on working together on their Devotionals. Responsibilities are important and I want to come up with a way to organize their chores better, but also make sure that we knock out some nightly reading. Another thing that I think this season has brought us is a need for more individual time. It’s important to spend time alone with each child and while I’d love to take them each out once a month, I don’t think it’s quite feasible. However, I can individualize their reading times at night and we could even do separate prayer times. My son gets more alone time because we do preschool together while the other little ones are at school.
One of the best ways for my house to remain clean is to keep up with everyone’s chores, otherwise any room can be turned upside-down within an hour. I find that knowing they will have to pick up after themselves influences them to take out only one thing at a time instead of dumping bin after bin on the floor and waiting for Mommy to take care of it.
In the last year, I’ve developed a much better system for getting ourselves organized. I still have a ways to go. For some reason, I had a hard time getting rid of old and unused items but I’m over it and I’m ready to de-clutter my house. This is one of my biggest resolutions for the year so you’ll see a lot more about how I’m getting myself to that level. From storage to systematically organizing all of our stuff, I think I’ll truly be able to get to where I want to be in 2018! I’ve got an adorable new faith planner from Create 365 (seen on the main photo for this post!) that I’m hoping will keep me focused!
After talking to my grandmother about methods of home decorating, I managed to do some really adorable Christmas decorating this year and decided that’s one of my goals for the rest of the year. I’d love for there to be a beautiful home decor theme in all of the common rooms in my house, maybe even the bedrooms if I’m feeling especially inspired!
The biggest hope for my business this year is to learn a new skill! I got a nice DSLR camera for Christmas and I plan to learn how to use it! My blog needs some pretty pictures to go with all of the thought I put into my writing. I’ve read that there are a lot of online courses, both free and paid, that can help me get to the level at which I need to be.
2017 was a great year for my life and family but I look forward to what 2018 brings us as we all grow up and together!
What are you hoping for in this season of your own life? Are you starting with small goals or do you have big dreams in mind?