Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Simplifying Life

I am learning more about myself being a wife and a mother of three. So many times in my life, I have said "yes," even though on the inside I wanted to say "no." I am by nature a pleaser. I want people to feel comfortable and happy, so sometimes I have a hard time saying "no" when I need to. Which (only sort of) worked for me when I was single. It doesn't work well for me now. There is so much to keep me busy at home with my family that I could feel stretched thin just taking care of things here. In fact, some days I do!

The truth is, I have been longing for a simpler life lately. Stick me in the middle of the country with a little homestead where I can entertain friends and family in my home on a regular basis, and I'd be a happy girl. So, realizing how tired I've been feeling, it's no wonder when I look at my life that I need to make some changes. Here's where it gets difficult.

You see, I love the Lord. I love people. But I don't enjoy packing the kids around. My typical week is full of getting in and out of the car numerous times. Now that Dorothy is in school, I am getting the little ones in and out of the car 4 times a day. It's a fight, and physically tiring, being that William is no small baby at 27 pounds ;-). Tuesday morning is in and out of the car again for Bible study. Tuesday evening is in and out of the car again for small group. I've really enjoyed getting to know people in group, but it's meltdown city when we get home with the kids and put them down an hour and a half past their bed time. Wednesday evening Dorothy has kids' club at church and we have parenting class. By the time we get the kids home, it's already 2 hours past bed time. Dorothy doesn't cope well with 2 late nights and getting up for school. Every other Wednesday morning I volunteer for gleaner's as well as shopping every Wednesday afternoon. Throw in well-child exams, random Dr. Appointments, WIC appointments, and life gets crazy fast. Even without any "me" time.

I'm tired and something needs to give. Not to mention the fact that William still doesn't sleep through the night. And my kids (who get frequent colds from all the places we go) refuse to give in and sleep when they get sniffles. Every cold turns into many sleepless nights in a row for mommy, such that I dread the next cycle of colds.

You see, most of the things we're doing are good things. I know we need to cut back, but I don't know what I need to cut. I long for simplicity. To just be at home and keep things running. To learn to love God as a family. To keep a welcoming home to whoever might come to visit with their kids. To live without all the to and fro.

So, friends and readers, I have some questions.
What are your challenges? How have you simplified your own life? Do you even feel like you need to simplify? How do you balance fellowship with other believers and home life?

So, that's where I'm at right now. Praying for some wisdom. And God will give it if I listen. The new year is always a good time to sit down and think about what changes we can make in our lives. And that's what I'm wanting to do.


Alicia said...

What about a family bible study instead of one at the church? Maybe you could invite another family over and do it that way? I'm sure there are some good books out there that would help guide your studies. You made me tired just reading your post, so it sounds like until the kids get a little older and more independent, you should change your routine to save your sanity!!

bloggymommy said...

Just say no. It is interesting that you are experiencing this now, because I have been faced with situations lately where I have had to set boundaries by saying no...three in one day. Are you trying to tell me something God?
It sounds to me like you are the typical overscheduled American Christian family. There are so many good opportunities, so many things that will enrich your life, but by doing all of them, the life is sucked out of you. Here is an exercise someone suggested to me years ago. Write down all of the non-negotiables in your schedule. Then write all of the options down and lay them out in front of you. Pray over them and ask God which of these great opportunities is for you. He will lead and guide you.
Don't be afraid to prioritize family time (and bedtime) over activities, no matter how good or "godly". Peace to you, friend!

Anonymous said...

Becci, I would do a family bible study together. We have cut back too. No sports, anything. Emma wasn't tolerating it. And I longed for the simple life too. I quit everything and it's more relaxing. What if you said just weekends for church or 1 or two times a month. But nothing on school days/ nights. That's what we do. And once 1st grade hit and you have an 8 hour break from in and out of tge car to pick up Dorothy I promise it gets easier. , windy

miraclebaby said...

ah, yes, you're both right. I think keeping things simple is they key right now. And I've tossed around the idea of homeschooling a lot. In a conversation with a friend tonight, I am definitely leaning that way more. Maybe after this school year? Although there is nothing saying I can't change things whenever I feel it's the right thing to do. Thanks for the encouragement as always, ladies!

Johnlyn ~ Frugality and Homemaking said...

I'm a bit late to the commenting party, but hopefully you'll see this anyway.

What happens to us when we're so busy studying God's word that we don't have time to actually worship him? To enjoy Him. To notice that He truly is present in our every day life?

I think that sometimes we think we have to do all of the Bible studies because that's what "good" Christ followers do. I do know that fellowship is important, but your family being healthy is way way more important!

How about some fellowship time with another mom while the kids play during the day so they wouldn't be up past bed time?